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A DMCN Journal article outlines each of four functional classification systems that have been developed for children with cerebral palsy. These classification systems are used by professionals as standard care and have been developed to allow a common language, as well as creating subject stratification for research.

Overview of Four Functional Classification Systems Commonly Used in Cerebral Palsy

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A DMCN Journal article outlines each of four functional classification systems that have been developed for children with cerebral palsy. These classification systems are used by professionals as standard care and have been developed to allow a common language, as well as creating subject stratification for research.

Synopsis of resource:

This resource gives a context for, and a summary of four common classification systems used to classify four areas of functioning, to be used in standard care for children from 0-18 years old living with cerebral palsy  

The classification systems described are; Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS, which describes an individual’s mobility level), Manual Ability Classification System (MACS, which describes an individual’s two handed function), Communication Function Classification System (CFCS, describing everyday communication) and the Eating and Drinking Ability Classification System (EDACS, which describes eating and drinking safety).  

These classification systems were developed to allow clear and common communication between providers, as well as more accurate and meaningful subject stratification for research. The refined and simplified descriptions of each functional level also allow it to be a resource that can be accessed by families and people living with Cerebral Palsy. 

Key learning outcomes

  • These are four common classification systems used to classify people with Cerebral Palsy that look at different areas of functioning for people with cerebral palsy
  • The context for why the classification systems were produced to be used in standard care
  • An in depth description of each of the classification systems, with the functional levels described in each

Authors

Andrea completed undergraduate school at Hamline University with Majors in Religion and Biology, Medical School at the University of Minnesota, Residency at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center/University of Cincinnati in Pediatrics, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine.Her specific areas of expertise  are Cerebral Palsy comprehensive care, advanced spasticity management through the use of baclofen, neurotoxin injections, phenol, and intrathecal baclofen pumps, electrodiagnostics with EMG/NCS, inpatient pediatric rehabilitation care, wheelchairs and equipment, and adaptive sports.  

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