An investigation into the prevalence and experience of psychopathology and mental disorders among children and adolescents with cerebral palsy
Cerebral palsy (CP) is the most common cause of physical disability in childhood. Most people with CP live well into adulthood. Although CP primarily affects a person’s ability to sit or move, many people with CP report experiencing mental health problems. Children and adolescents with CP who experience mental health problems are more likely to develop mental health conditions like depression in adulthood. Although this may be prevented if children and adolescents receive support when they need it, young people with CP and their families often find it difficult to access appropriate support. The lack of data describing how many young people with CP in Ireland experience mental health problems makes it difficult for organisations to develop appropriate services and supports for them.
The aim of this project is to investigate how prevalent mental health symptoms and mental disorders are among children and adolescents with CP in Ireland. We will also identify risk factors for poor mental health and explore the experience of poor mental health among young people with CP.
We will estimate how prevalent mental health symptoms and disorders are by asking 600 children and adolescents with CP to complete a questionnaire. We will also ask them about factors that might be associated with mental health symptoms and conditions, such as age, gender and social support. We will interview 20 adolescents and young adults with CP about their experience of poor mental health. We will interview 15 parents of children and adolescents with CP about their experience of having a child with poor mental health. We will also ask people with CP and parents about their experience of accessing support from professionals like GPs and psychologists.
This project will provide data that justifies and informs services and supports to improve the mental health of people with CP.
- Award Date
- 01 July 2022
- Award Value
- Principal Investigator
- Dr Jennifer Ryan
- Host Institution
- Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
- HRCI-HRB Joint Funding Scheme