REVIEW ARTICLE (META-ANALYSIS)| Volume 103, ISSUE 8, P1628-1637, August 2022

Determinants of Hospital-Based Health Service Utilization in Cerebral Palsy: a Systematic Review

Published:December 27, 2021DOI:



      To systematically review and synthesize evidence of determinants associated with hospital-based health service utilization among individuals with cerebral palsy (CP).

      Data Sources

      Electronic databases MEDLINE, Embase, APA Psycinfo were searched from January 2000 to April 2020.

      Study Selection

      Observational studies were included that described people with CP, reported quantitative measures of hospital-based health service utilization (inpatient, outpatient, emergency department), and based in high-income countries. We excluded studies that included only subsets of people with CP, or those that only reported therapy service utilization.

      Data Extraction

      After initial screen, 2 reviewers reviewed full texts for inclusion and performed data extraction and risk of bias assessment using the Newcastle-Ottawa scale. Determinants of health service utilization were identified and categorized using the Andersen behavioral model.

      Data Synthesis

      Seventeen studies met inclusion criteria. Study quality was high. Twenty-six determinants were reported across 8 Andersen model characteristics. Individual predisposing factors such as sex showed no difference in health service utilization; inpatient admissions decreased with increasing age during childhood and was lower in adults. Increased health service utilization was associated with “individual need” including severe gross motor disability, epilepsy, developmental/ intellectual disability and gastrostomy-use across inpatient, outpatient and emergency department settings. There was little information reported on socio-demographic and health system contextual determinants.


      CP health service utilization is associated with age, severity and comorbidities. Improved understanding of determinants of health service utilization can support health service access for people with CP.


      List of abbreviations:

      CP (cerebral palsy), GMFCS (Gross Motor Function Classification System), IRR (incident rate ratio), OR (odds ratio)
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