Task-specific training for bicycle-riding goals in ambulant children with cerebral palsy: a randomized controlled trial

Dev Med Child Neurol. 2022 Feb;64(2):243-252. doi: 10.1111/dmcn.15029. Epub 2021 Aug 22.


Aim: To determine whether a task-specific physiotherapist-led training approach is more effective than a non-specific parent-led home programme for attaining bicycle-riding goals in ambulant children with cerebral palsy (CP).

Method: Sixty-two ambulant children with CP aged 6 to 15 years (33 males, 29 females, mean age 9y 6mo) with bicycle-riding goals participated in this multi-centre, assessor-blind, parallel-group, superiority randomized controlled trial. Children in the task-specific group participated in a physiotherapist-led, group-based, intensive training programme. Children in the parent-led home group were provided with a practice schedule, generic written information, and telephone support. Both programmes involved a 1-week training period. The primary outcome was goal attainment at 1 week after training measured using the Goal Attainment Scale. Secondary outcomes included bicycle skills, participation in bicycle riding, functional skills, self-perception, physical activity, and health-related quality of life at 1 week and 3 months after training.

Results: Children in the task-specific training group had greater odds of goal attainment than those in the parent-led home programme at 1 week after intervention (odds ratio [OR] 10.4, 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.8-38.6), with evidence for superiority retained at 3 months (OR 4.0, 95% CI 1.3-12.5).

Interpretation: The task-specific physiotherapist-led training approach was more effective for attaining bicycle-riding goals than a non-specific parent-led home programme in ambulant children with CP.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Bicycling*
  • Cerebral Palsy / rehabilitation*
  • Child
  • Exercise Therapy* / methods
  • Exercise Therapy* / organization & administration
  • Female
  • Goals
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neurological Rehabilitation* / methods
  • Neurological Rehabilitation* / organization & administration
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care*
  • Parents
  • Physical Therapists