CP-Achieve - Centre of Research Excellence in Cerebral Palsy

CP-Achieve is a five-year program of research working to help adolescents and young adults with cerebral palsy live a full and healthy life.

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The Centre of Research Excellence in Cerebral Palsy is funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council. 

We are a team of adolescents and young adults with cerebral palsy, families, clinicians, researchers and students who are working together to meet CP-Achieve’s aims. CP-Achieve started in February 2020 and will finish in 2025.

What does CP-Achieve do?

CP-Achieve does research aiming to support people with cerebral palsy aged 10 to 30 years to achieve good health, access to excellent health services, and participate in relationships, work, leisure, physical activity and the community.

 We are doing projects to understand:

1. The physical and mental health problems of young people with cerebral palsy
2. What outcomes are important to young people

We can use this information to:

  • Develop programs to be used by health and disability providers to assist young people
  • Help young people to attend health and community services that meet their needs
  • Understand the costs of services that work
  • Inform policy and practice

CP Achieve has two main programs. Each program runs several research projects. The programs are:

  1. Improving the physical and mental health of adolescents and young adults with cerebral palsy.
  2. Building supportive family, community and health service environments that help young people take part in life situations which are important to them.

Four important themes in all our work

  1. Promoting participation
  2. Developing a specialist workforce
  3. Health economics
  4. Consumer involvement

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Promoting Participation

We define participation as being involved in life situations such as activities that occur in the home, school, work, recreation, community and health care settings. Active participation builds fitness, fun, social and community links, and self-management of health needs.

Participation builds confidence and preferences for a healthy lifestyle that will help physical and mental health and satisfaction with life. To promote participation we will:

  • Understand the impact of physical and mental health on participation.
  • Develop interventions that will support adolescents and young adults with CP to participate in Australian health care and community settings.
  • Learn how to create environments that support participation - that is, environments that are accessible, acceptable and accommodating.

Developing a Specialist Workforce

We aim to support health care and other workers to develop specialist skills and knowledge for working with adolescents and adults with cerebral palsy (CP). For people with CP to receive the best health care throughout their lives – not just in childhood – the healthcare workforce needs to be expanded and include health and disability workforce with special skills working with adolescents and adults. We will:

  • Educate and support those working with people with cerebral palsy.
  • Carefully share our new knowledge to inform clinical practice.

Health Economics

We will work out the costs of all our programs, whether they are cost-effective, whether they are worth it to people with cerebral palsy and their families, and how we can use this information to influence clinical practice, health services and health and social policy.

Consumer Involvement

Consumer involvement is when adolescents and young adults with cerebral palsy and their families partner with researchers in all aspects of research. We believe that our research is better with consumer involvement and our findings better meet the needs of people with cerebral palsy and their families.

Consumers can be involved as consultants, advisors, collaborators and/or co-producers of research by taking part in reference groups, advisory panels, and researchers. We aim to:

  • Involve consumers from the beginning to decide what to research; plan the design and methods; carry out the research; analyse findings; and ensure that the findings reach and inform the people who need to know in the best ways.
  • Find creative, appealing and effective ways of involving adolescents, young adults and families from across Australia, including those who have significant physical disability, sensory impairments, communication difficulties and/or intellectual disability.

More information