Studies of CP Prevalence: Disparities in Authorship, Citations, and Geographic Location

Frances Avila-Soto, Angelina M. Kakooza, Keisuke Ueda, Bhooma Aravamuthan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


We aimed to characterize the existing knowledge of cerebral palsy (CP) prevalence globally and identify any existing publication disparities that may impact our understanding of the global burden of CP. To identify existing publications on CP prevalence, PubMed and Web of Science were searched in May 2021 with the following strategy: "cerebral palsy"[title] AND (rate OR prevalence OR epidemiology). This search yielded 2720 results on PubMed and 2314 on Web of Science. Studies published in English, Spanish, or Japanese and which were available in full text were included. Studies that did not report a CP prevalence statistic were excluded. We identified 94 studies meeting inclusion and exclusion criteria. Of 94 studies, 69 (73.4%) studies came from Europe, North America, and Australia with the remaining 25 (26.6%) from Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. No studies from Latin America were identified. CP prevalence estimates ranged from 0.8 to 4.4 per 1000 live births. Studies from Europe are cited more than studies from other regions, ranging from 7.61 citations/year since publication for European studies to 2.1 citations/year for Middle Eastern studies. Studies from Western countries are written almost exclusively by Western authors (99.69%-100%), while studies from Africa consist of a lower proportion of African authors (31.06%). Our results highlight geographical disparities in our knowledge of CP epidemiology. Existing literature from Latin America, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East are relatively undercited by the field. To better grasp the true impact of CP globally, we must support institutions and researchers in underrepresented regions of the world.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-63
Number of pages5
JournalPediatric Neurology
StatePublished - Jun 2023


  • Cerebral palsy
  • Epidemiology
  • Global health
  • Health care disparities
  • Movement disorders
  • Neurodevelopmental disorders


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