Australian Cerebral Palsy Musculoskeletal Health Network awarded with $2.5M MRFF funding support

17 January 2023

In 2022 our team was awarded a Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF, $2.5M 2023-2027) for the ‘The Australian CP Musculoskeletal Health Network’ to conduct a longitudinal follow-up of 500 children with Cerebral Palsy (Gross Motor Function Classification Level II-IV-V) who don’t ambulate independently.  This 5 year study will assess Musculoskeletal Health in children aged 4-9 years at entry across 6 sites in Qld, NSW, Vic and WA.

Cerebral palsy (CP) is a lifelong childhood complex disability (1 in 700 children). While the brain lesion in children with CP is static the musculoskeletal health can decline progressively in non-ambulant children leading to Hip Displacement, Scoliosis and Bone Fragility. We will evaluate annual status and development of musculoskeletal health, hip displacement, scoliosis, skeletal fragility, motor skills, nutrition and physical activity and evaluate health resource cost and consequences in children with CP. The assessments will be completed at a one-off appointment every year for 4 years.

In Brisbane we plan to commence at Queensland Children’s Hospital in March 2023 and then at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Sydney Children’s Hospital, John Hunter Hospital, Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne and Perth Children’s Hospital.

Contact Details: Dr Denise Brookes, AusCP-MSK Research Fellow at Email:


This project is funded by MRFF $2.5M 2022-2026, APP2015970.

Chief Investigators: Prof. Craig Munns, The University of Queensland; Prof. Roslyn Boyd, The University of Queensland; Prof. Peter Pivonka, Queensland University of Technology; Prof. Natasha Nassar, University of Sydney; Prof. Stewart Trost, The University of Queensland; Assoc Prof. Judith Little, Assoc Prof. Kylie Tucker,   Queensland University of Technology;  Prof. Joshua Burns, University of Sydney; Assoc Prof. Leanne Sakzewski, The University of Queensland; Dr Simon Paget, Sydney Children's Hospitals Network; Prof. Nadia Badawi, University of Sydney; Prof. Robert Ware, Griffith University; Assoc Prof. Tracy Comans, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute; Dr Kate Willoughby, The Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne; Dr Katherine Mary Langdon, Child and Adolescent Health Service Perth .

Trial Registration: 2015970