Classification Terminology in Cerebral Palsy

  • Katherine B. BevansEmail author
  • Carole A. Tucker
Living reference work entry


Classification systems are intended to reduce the complexity of heterogeneous conditions by grouping people with similar clinical manifestations together. Classifications are intended to improve communication among clinicians, researchers, patients, and caregivers. They may guide clinical diagnosis, prediction of prognoses, goal setting, treatment decisions, and determinations for service eligibility. They are used for population surveillance and for identifying and/or describing research participants. Classification systems categorize people with cerebral palsy (CP) on the basis of type and topography of neuromotor impairment, neuroanatomical disturbances, gait patterns, and functioning. The systems differ in their coverage of body structure, body function, and activity levels as specified in the International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health framework. This chapter reviews commonly used classification systems for people with CP, including their reliability, validity, and utility for specific uses.


Classification Type Topography Functioning Reliability 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, College of Public HealthTemple UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Steven J. Bachrach
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Pediatrics (Emeritus)Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for ChildrenWilmingtonUSA
  2. 2.Sidney Kimmel Medical College of Thomas Jefferson UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA

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