The Role of Child Neurologists in the Management of Motor Disability in Cerebral Palsy: Establishing the Path Forward

Rose Gelineau-Morel, Young Min Kim, Jennifer A. O'Malley, Jenny L. Wilson, Bhooma R. Aravamuthan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Cerebral palsy (CP) is the most common motor disability of childhood, and yet the role of child neurologists and neurodevelopmentalists (CN/NDDs) in the management of children with CP is unclear. Although previous surveys showed that CN/NDDs believe they are uniquely expert in CP motor phenotyping and should be involved in CP management, others have demonstrated that training in CP management among CN/NDD residency programs is inadequate. Methods: In this article, we surveyed a group of CN/NDDs at the Child Neurology Society Cerebral Palsy Special Interest Group meeting on January 27, 2022. Questions addressed provider comfort with CP tone management including motor phenotyping, pharmacologic and surgical management, barriers and solutions to improving practice, and the use of systems-based care. Results: Responses from 42 participants demonstrated that CN/NDDs lack experience with CP tone management, with 48% and 58% of respondents reporting little to no experience in pharmacologic or surgical management, respectively. Primary barriers identified to improving comfort with CP tone management included lack of knowledge and ineffective treatment options, while most solutions centered on improving collaborations between CN/NDDs and other specialties. Only 50% of respondents reported currently using systems-based care in the management of patients with CP. Conclusions: An interdisciplinary, systems-based care model would allow for collaboration and knowledge sharing between involved specialties and provide high-value goal-directed care to maximize the functional outcomes for every individual with CP.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-38
Number of pages6
JournalPediatric Neurology
StatePublished - Jul 2023


  • Cerebral palsy
  • Children
  • Developmental disability
  • Dystonia
  • Neurodevelopment
  • Spasticity
  • Tone
  • Treatment


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