Children with cerebral palsy (CP) and their families often make strong demands on diagnostic, therapeutic, technical and social facilities. Prevalence estimates are needed to improve treatment and services. As recent Dutch data are not available, the present study aimed to assess the population prevalence of CP in the Netherlands. A representative Dutch area with 1.2 million inhabitants of which 172,000 were born between 1977 and 1988 was studied. To ascertain the children with CP from these birth years, medical practices (such as rehabilitation centres, paediatric and child neurological departments) were consecutively asked to contact their (supposed) CP cases. Next, a parents’ organisation and finally regional news media assisted in the ascertainment. In total, 170 ‘supposed’ CP cases underwent an expert examination. Of these 170, 127 children proved to be definite CP-cases, yielding a ‘crude’ average prevalence of 0.74 per 1000 inhabitants (95% CI: 0.61–0.87). Under-ascertainment was recognised and quantified. Accordingly, the population prevalence of CP over the birth year period 1977–1988 was calculated as 1.51 per 1000 inhabitants (average over the 12 birth years). The calculated CP prevalence rose significantly over time: from 0.77 (1977–1979) to 2.44 (1986–1988). This trend is in accordance with other studies.

, , , ,
H.J. Stam (Henk) , O. van Nieuwenhuizen (Onno)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Het onderzoek waar dit proefschrift het resultaat van is werd financieel mogelijk gemaakt door de Dr. W.M. Phelps-Stichting voor Spastici te Bussum en door de Stichting Bio Kinderrevalidatie te Arnhem. Het revalidatiecentrum Groot Klimmendaal te Arnhem en de afdeling Revalidatiegeneeskunde van het Erasmus Medisch Centrum te Rotterdam droegen in belangrijke mate bij met personele ondersteuning. De totstandkoming van dit proefschrift werd mede mogelijk gemaakt door financiële steun van de Stichting Wetenschappelijk Fonds de Hoogstraat te Utrecht, van de firma Orthopedietechniek De Hoogstraat te Utrecht, de firma George In der Maur orthopedische schoentechniek te Groenekan en de Dr. W.M. Phelps-Stichting voor Spastici te Bussum. De verzending van het proefschrift is mogelijk gemaakt door het revalidatiecentrum De Vogellanden in Zwolle
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Wichers, M.J. (2011, October 19). Epidemiology of Cerebral Palsy in the Netherlands. Erasmus University Rotterdam. Retrieved from