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SPARCLE - A Study of Participation and Quality of Life of Children with Cerebral Palsy Living in Europe

This report is about 8-12 year old children with cerebral palsy in Europe. 818 children of all abilities and their families from nine European regions were visited by researchers.

Children with cerebral palsy have difficulty making movements due to injury to their brain; they were chosen for this study because they are representative of a wide range of disabled children. As well as their movement difficulty, children with cerebral palsy often have associated learning difficulty, communication difficulty, epilepsy and hearing or visual impairments.

The key findings were:

  • Children with cerebral palsy experience much pain
  • Children with cerebral palsy are more likely to have emotional and behavioural difficulties than children in the general population
  • Parents of children with cerebral palsy are more likely to experience significant stress than parents of children in the general population
  • Children with cerebral palsy who can self report have the same Quality of Life as other children of their age
  • Children with cerebral palsy take part in fewer activities than other children of their age
  • Some European countries provide environments which enable children with cerebral palsy to participate much more in life than children in other countries

More information on the study and its published research papers are on the SPARCLE website: or visit 

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