Feasibility and preliminary effectiveness of a novel mobility training intervention in infants and toddlers with cerebral palsy

Dev Neurorehabil. 2012;15(4):259-66. doi: 10.3109/17518423.2012.687782. Epub 2012 Jun 6.


Objective: To design a novel mobility training intervention incorporating infant motor learning and neurorehabilitation principles and investigate its feasibility, tolerability and effect on motor development in toddlers with cerebral palsy (CP).

Methods: A single-subject research design with repeated measures during 6-week baseline and intervention phases and after treatment withdrawal was used. Five participants attended therapy utilizing novel dynamic weight assistance technology, which allowed practice of motor skills beyond participants' current abilities.

Results: Average attendance and engagement rates exceeded 90%. Gains in gross motor function were observed after treatment that exceeded the expected rate in four of the five participants. Rates of motor development during treatment were 10.8, 3.8, 7.0, 15.1, and 0.3 times greater than during baseline for the five participants, respectively.

Conclusions: This intervention was tolerated and demonstrated the potential to alter the trajectory of motor development in CP, providing proof of concept for further investigation.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural

MeSH terms

  • Cerebral Palsy / physiopathology
  • Cerebral Palsy / rehabilitation*
  • Child Development / physiology*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Motor Skills / physiology*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Treatment Outcome