Energy efficiency in gait, activity, participation, and health status in children with cerebral palsy

Dev Med Child Neurol. 2008 Mar;50(3):204-10. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8749.2008.02030.x. Epub 2008 Jan 21.


The aim of the study was to establish if a relationship exists between the energy efficiency of gait, and measures of activity limitation, participation restriction, and health status in a representative sample of children with cerebral palsy (CP). Secondary aims were to investigate potential differences between clinical subtypes and gross motor classification, and to explore other relationships between the measures under investigation. A longitudinal study of a representative sample of 184 children with ambulant CP was conducted (112 males, 72 females; 94 had unilateral spastic C P, 84 had bilateral spastic C P, and six had non-spastic forms; age range 4-17 y; Gross Motor Function Classification System Level I, n=57; Level II, n=91; Level III, n=22; and Level IV, n=14); energy efficiency (oxygen cost) during gait, activity limitation, participation restriction, and health status were recorded. Energy efficiency during gait was shown to correlate significantly with activity limitations; no relationship between energy efficiency during gait was found with either participation restriction or health status. With the exception of psychosocial health, all other measures showed significant differences by clinical subtype and gross motor classification. The energy efficiency of walking is not reflective of participation restriction or health status. Thus, therapies leading to improved energy efficiency may not necessarily lead to improved participation or general health.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cerebral Palsy / epidemiology*
  • Cerebral Palsy / physiopathology*
  • Child
  • Comorbidity
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Energy Metabolism / physiology*
  • Female
  • Gait / physiology*
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motor Activity*
  • Motor Skills Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Motor Skills Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Psychology