7 Cerebral Palsy Nursing Care Plans


Cerebral Palsy refers to a group of neurological disorders that affect body movement, balance, and posture. In many cases, speech, vision difficulties, seizure or cognitive problem are also affected. It is caused by the abnormal development or damage to a part of the brain that controls movement. It usually appears early in life, usually in infancy or early childhood.

Symptoms of a child with cerebral palsy vary from one person to person which may include: delayed in reaching developmental milestones, weakness in one or more arm or leg, lack of muscle coordination when performing voluntary movements (ataxia), muscle spasms, muscle tone that either are too stiff or too floppy, fidgety, jerky or clumsy movements, walking on tip-toes, or excessive drooling or difficulties swallowing or speaking.

There is no known cure for the condition, but supportive treatments, therapy, medications, and surgery are facilitated to improve the life of the child.

Nursing Care Plans

Nursing goals for a client with cerebral palsy include optimize mobility and prevent deformity, improve nutritional status, strengthen family support, foster self-care, enhanced communication and provide quality of life.

Here are seven nursing care plans and nursing diagnosis for cerebral palsy:

  1. Impaired Physical Mobility
  2. Imbalanced Nutrition: Less than Body Requirements
  3. Impaired Verbal Communication
  4. Ineffective Therapeutic Regimen Management
  5. Risk for Injury
  6. Risk for Delayed Growth and Development
  7. Risk for Self-Care Deficit

Imbalanced Nutrition: Less than Body Requirements

Nursing Diagnosis

  • Imbalanced Nutrition: Less Than Body Requirements

May be related to

  • Increased metabolic needs
  • Inability to ingest food properly

Possibly evidenced by

  • Difficulty chewing, swallowing and sucking
  • Inadequate caloric intake
  • Uncoordinated hand movement
  • Underweight

Desired Outcomes

  • Child/infant takes adequate amount of calories or nutrients needed for normal growth.
Nursing InterventionsRationale
Monitor and record height and weight.These anthropomorphic assessments are vital that they need to be accurate. These will be used as a basis for caloric and nutrient requirements.
Assess the infant sucking and swallowing ability.Infants with cerebral palsy often suck poorly due to the uncoordinated movements of the lips, tongue, and jaw and tongue thrusting make them push food out of their mouth.
Offer small frequent meals more throughout the day.Adequate time is required between meals to allow for natural swallowing.
Position the child upright during
Aspiration pneumonia is a risk for
a child with poor swallowing.
Use soft and blended foods.Foods can be softened by combining it with milk, juice, or broth to avoid aspiration. Liquids can be thickened to facilitate safety and ease in swallowing.
Encourage adequate fluid intake and high fiber foods such as wholegrain cereals, fruit, and vegetables.High fiber diet and increase fluid intake avoid constipation.
Offer high protein supplements based on individual needs and capabilities.Such supplements can be used to increase calories and protein without conflict with voluntary food intake.
Teach the family regarding proper enteral tube feeding as appropriate.Enteral tube feeding is indicated in children with CP who are unable to meet their nutritional requirements orally.

Recommended Resources

Recommended nursing diagnosis and nursing care plan books and resources.

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See also

Other recommended site resources for this nursing care plan:

Other nursing care plans related to neurological disorders:

Paul Martin is a registered nurse with a bachelor of science in nursing since 2007. Having worked as a medical-surgical nurse for five years, he handled different kinds of patients and learned how to provide individualized care to them. Now, his experiences working in the hospital is carried over to his writings to help aspiring students achieve their goals. He is currently working as a nursing instructor and have a particular interest in nursing management, emergency care, critical care, infection control, and public health. As a writer at Nurseslabs, his goal is to impart his clinical knowledge and skills to students and nurses helping them become the best version of themselves and ultimately make an impact in uplifting the nursing profession.