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Date of Award


Degree Type

Capstone Project (On-Campus Access Only)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Nancy Cicirello, MPH, PT

Second Advisor

Sherly L. Sanders PhD


Background and Purpose. Adults with a diagnosis of cerebral palsy (CP) are living longer lives similar to the general population. Consequently, there is an emerging need for knowledge pertaining to the effectiveness of medical care for adults with CP. The purpose of this study was to gain insight from adults with CP regarding the priority components of well-being that contribute to their quality of life (QOL).

Methods. Sixty adults (N = 60) diagnosed with cerebral palsy aged 22 to 63, participated in a 42-question survey. Demographics including age, type of CP, education, communication, and level of assistance required were collected. Questions pertaining to physical well-being, emotional and social well-being, environmental support, and prioritization of these items were directly related to the survey hypothesis.

Results. Sixty-eight percent (N=36) of the respondents were able to prioritize the three components of QOL with the following results: 39% (N=I4) listed physical well-being, 50% (N=I8) listed emotional and social well-being, and 11 % (N=4) listed environmental support as the most important component in determining a good quality of life. Thirty-two percent of respondents were unable to prioritize the three components of well-being, listing them as equally important in determining their QOL.

Conclusion. Healthcare for adults with CP requires comprehensive attention, with an emphasis on emotional and social well-being, in combination with physical well-being and environmental support.


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