Endurance and Gait in Children With Cerebral Palsy After Intensive Body Weight-Supported Treadmill Training.

Beth Provost, Kathy Dieruf, Patricia A. Burtner, John P. Phillips, Ann Bernitsky-Beddingfield, Katherine J. Sullivan, Chantel A. Bowen & Lesley Toser

This study was designed to investigate changes in endurance, functional gait, and balance after intensive body weight-supported treadmill training in children with CP who were ambulatory. Six school-aged children with CP (four boys, two girls; age range: six to 14 years) participated in an intensive program of body weight-supported treadmill training 30 minutes twice daily for two weeks.

The results show statistically significant improvements in walking velocity and energy expenditure, with variability of individual outcomes observed with some children showing positive changes, and others no change or a decline in performance. Four children showed minimal detectable changes in a positive direction on both an endurance measure and a functional gait measure. Each endurance and functional gait measure included at least one child with a positive minimal detectable change.

Intensive body weight-supported treadmill training may be an effective intervention for some children with CP who are ambulatory.

Pediatric Physical Therapy, 2007 19(1):2-10

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