Visual functioning in children with spastic cerebral pals

Cerebral palsy is defi ned as a neurologic developmental motor disorder of movement and posture, often associated with other diffi culties, one of which is visual impairment. The aim of our study was to determine the level of functional vision (visual functioning) in children with spastic cerebral palsy. Another objective was to determine the correlation between visual functions (visual acuity and contrast sensitivity) and visual functioning. The sample included 70 children with spastic cerebral palsy, mean age 4.8 years. Assessment of visual acuity and contrast sensitivity was performed by preferential tests, and the level of functional vision was assessed in four areas: tasks at close, communication, orientation and mobility, and daily living skills. Results showed a signifi cant number of children with spastic cerebral palsy to have diffi culties in all areas of visual functioning, particularly in the fi eld of communication. Visual acuity and contrast sensitivity were signifi cantly associated only with visual functioning in the tasks at close (rs=0.267, p=0.049 and rs=0.444, p=0.001, respectively). Contrast sensitivity signifi cantly correlated with the use of vision in daily living skills (rs=0.432, p=0.002). In conclusion, children with spastic cerebral palsy are at a great risk of developing diffi culties in visual functioning, especially in situations perceiving visual signs in communication, such as facial expressions. Assessment of functional vision should be an essential element of the assessment and rehabilitation of children with spastic cerebral palsy.

Keywords: vision disorders; visual acuity; contrast sensitivity; cerebral palsy; rehabilitation; child, preschool
Category: Original scientific paper
Volume: Vol. 57, No 2, april - june 2013
Authors: Alimović S., Katušić A
Reference work: Paediatr Croat. 2013;57:107-13

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