Ten-year follow-up study found that motor-free intelligence quotient declined in children with mild-to-moderate cerebral palsy

Monika Coceski, Robyn Stargatt, Sarah Sherwell, Hisham M. Abu-Rayya, Susan M. Reid, Dinah S. Reddihough, Jacquie Wrennall, Darren R. Hocking

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aim: This 10-year follow-up study examined cognitive change in a cohort of children with cerebral palsy from preschool to adolescence at the group and individual levels. Methods: The Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence was administered to 80 children with cerebral palsy (mean = 4 years 6 months, standard deviation = 7 months) at baseline (Time 1). At 10-year follow-up (Time 2), 28 adolescents (mean = 14 years 6 months, standard deviation = 9 months) returned for assessment with the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children. Motor-free intelligence quotient (IQ) scores were calculated and paired-samples t-tests and the Reliable Change Index (RCI) were used to investigate change in IQ over time. Results: At the group level, nonverbal IQ scores declined significantly. At the individual level, RCI indicated nine and 11 children showed a clinically significant decline in Full Scale IQ (FSIQ) and nonverbal IQ scores, respectively. Decline in FSIQ was related to a history of seizures whereas decline in nonverbal IQ was associated with higher initial IQ. Conclusion: Cognitive abilities in children with cerebral palsy evolve over time and selective deficits may not be observable until a later age, highlighting the importance of repeated cognitive assessment throughout childhood and adolescence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1899-1906
Number of pages8
JournalActa Paediatrica, International Journal of Paediatrics
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
A special thank you to the children and parents who took part in this study. Open access publishing facilitated by La Trobe University, as part of the Wiley - La Trobe University agreement via the Council of Australian University Librarians.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors. Acta Paediatrica published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Foundation Acta Paediatrica.


  • assessment
  • cerebral palsy
  • cognitive ability
  • follow-up study
  • longitudinal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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