Hospital admissions in children with cerebral palsy: a data linkage study

Elaine Meehan, Susan M. Reid, Katrina Williams, Gary L. Freed, Jillian R. Sewell, Suzanna Vidmar, Susan Donath, Dinah S. Reddihough

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41 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: The overall aim was to investigate the feasibility and utility of linking a cerebral palsy (CP) register to an administrative data set for health services research purposes. We sought to compare CP hospital admissions to general childhood population admissions, and identify factors associated with type and frequency of admissions in a CP cohort. Method: The CP register for Victoria, Australia was linked to the state's hospital admissions database. Data pertaining to the admissions of a CP cohort (n=1748) that took place between 2007 and 2014 were extracted. Population data were also obtained. Results: Overall, 80% of the CP cohort (n=1401) had at least admission between 2007 and 2014, accounting for 11 012 admissions or 1.5% of all admissions in their age group. Compared to general population admissions, CP admissions were more costly and more likely to be elective (66% vs 57%; p<0.001), medical (71% vs 57%; p<0.001), and to take place in metropolitan hospitals (92% vs 78%; p<0.001). Increased CP severity and complexity were associated with having more admissions and a higher proportion of admissions attributable to respiratory illness. Interpretation: By linking with administrative data sets, CP registers may be useful for health services research and inform health service delivery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)512-519
Number of pages8
JournalDevelopmental Medicine & Child Neurology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2017
Externally publishedYes

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