Mental Health Watch: Adults With CP Are at Increased Risk for Mental Health Conditions

Pharmacy Times, December 2019, Volume 85, Issue 12

The results of a new study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine demonstrate the need for increased awareness of mental health disorders among adults with cerebral palsy.

The results of a new study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine demonstrate the need for increased awareness of mental health disorders among adults with cerebral palsy (CP).1 CP is a group of disorders that affect a person’s ability to move and maintain balance and posture, according to the CDC.2 About 1 in every 323 children in the United States has received a diagnosis of CP, said the study authors.

As technology advances, more children with the disorder will grow into adulthood. These pediatric patients are also at an increased risk of secondary chronic conditions, such as mental health disorders, indicating a need to assess the prevalence of such conditions.

The investigators examined insurance claims data for about 8.7 million adults, including 7328 adults with CP, and measured for neurodevelopmental comorbid conditions, such as intellectual disabilities, and 37 mental health disorders in 6 categories. They found that adults with CP had a higher age-standardized prevalence of mental health disorders than adults without CP. More specifically, the research team found that men with cerebral palsy had a higher prevalence of anxiety disorders (19.5% vs 11.1%), disorders of adult personality and behavior (1.2% vs 0.3%), mood affective disorders (19.5% vs 8.1%), and schizophrenic disorders (2.8% vs 0.7%) than their male adult counterparts without CP.

They also found that men with CP were more likely to have higher rates of alcoholand opioid-related disorders than men without CP. Women with CP did not exhibit higher rates than those without CP.

The investigators concluded that the study results indicate a greater need for a focus on the mental health care of adults with CP.

REFERENCES

  • Whitney DG, Warschausky SA, Ng S, Hurvitz EA, Kamdar NS, Peterson MD. Prevalence of mental health disorders among adults with cerebral palsy: a cross-sectional analysis. Ann Internal Med. 2019;171(5):328-333. doi: 10.7326/M18-3420.
  • What is cerebral palsy? CDC website. cdc.gov/ncbddd/cp/facts.html. Updated April 30, 2019. Accessed September 24, 2019.