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Randomized Controlled Trial
, 37 (6), 445-53

Treadmill Training With Partial Body Weight Support Compared With Conventional Gait Training for Low-Functioning Children and Adolescents With Nonspastic Cerebral Palsy: A Two-Period Crossover Study

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Randomized Controlled Trial

Treadmill Training With Partial Body Weight Support Compared With Conventional Gait Training for Low-Functioning Children and Adolescents With Nonspastic Cerebral Palsy: A Two-Period Crossover Study

Ivan Y W Su et al. Prosthet Orthot Int.

Abstract

Background: Partial body weight-supported treadmill training has been shown to be effective in gait training for patients with neurological disorders such as spinal cord injuries and stroke. Recent applications on children with cerebral palsy were reported, mostly on spastic cerebral palsy with single subject design. There is lack of evidence on the effectiveness of such training for nonspastic cerebral palsy, particularly those who are low functioning with limited intellectual capacity.

Objectives: This study evaluated the effectiveness of partial body weight-supported treadmill training for improving gross motor skills among these clients.

Study design: A two-period randomized crossover design with repeated measures.

Methods: A crossover design following an A-B versus a B-A pattern was adopted. The two training periods consisted of 12-week partial body weight-supported treadmill training (Training A) and 12-week conventional gait training (Training B) with a 10-week washout in between. Ten school-age participants with nonspastic cerebral palsy and severe mental retardation were recruited. The Gross Motor Function Measure-66 was administered immediately before and after each training period.

Results: Significant improvements in dimensions D and E of the Gross Motor Function Measure-66 and the Gross Motor Ability Estimator were obtained.

Conclusions: Our findings revealed that the partial body weight-supported treadmill training was effective in improving gross motor skills for low-functioning children and adolescents with nonspastic cerebral palsy. .

Keywords: Rehabilitation; cerebral palsy; exercise therapy; gait; physiotherapy.

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