Effects of Intensive Physiotherapy in Infants Newly Diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy.

Ustad T, Sorsdahl AB, Ljunggren AE

This study was designed to examine effects of blocks of daily physiotherapy in 5 infants with cerebral palsy. A single-subject design was used. Intervention consisted of two 4-week periods of daily physiotherapy, interrupted by 8 weeks of physiotherapy as usual. The children were assessed every 4th week using the Gross Motor Function Measure. Results were visually analyzed, and statistical significance of Gross Motor Function Measure-66 scores was established with the 2 SD band method. Compliance was high. All infants showed gross motor progress compared with baseline, but separating effect of daily physiotherapy from physiotherapy as usual was inconclusive. Parents preferred the intensive treatment alternative.

Blocks of intensive therapy can be an alternative to regular dosage of physiotherapy, but until further studies are conducted, the physiotherapy intervention, intensity, and frequency should be tailored to meet the needs of each individual infant and family.

Pediatric Physical Therapy, 2009, 21(2), 140-148

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