Objectives: To investigate the effect of trunk training on trunk control, arm, and pulmonary function in children with Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
Design: A randomised controlled trial.
Settings: Neuromuscular diseases clinic of university hospital.
Subjects: Twenty-six children with Duchenne muscular dystrophy aged 5-16 were included in the study.
Intervention: Participants were randomly allocated into two groups. The study group (N = 13) exercised with the trunk-oriented exercise program and the conventional exercise program, whereas the control group (N = 13) underwent the conventional exercise program for eight weeks.
Main measures: The primary outcomes were trunk control was assessed using the Trunk Control Measurement Scale, the arm function was assessed using Performance of Upper Limb, and respiratory function using the pulmonary function test. Data collection was conducted at baseline, and eighth week. The differences in trunk control scores, arm function scores, and respiratory function values before and after the training were calculated for the intergroup comparison.
Results: The mean age of the participants was 11.6 (2.6) in the study group and 10.6 (3.4) in the control group. The changes between trunk control score, arm function score (total and distal level score), and respiratory function value (Forced Vital Capacity, Forced Expiratory Volume in one second, and Peak Expiratory Flow Volume percentage values) were compared and significant differences were found after eight week periods in the study and control groups.
Conclusions: Trunk-oriented exercise program in Duchenne muscular dystrophy might be effective for trunk control, arm, and respiratory function.
Keywords: Duchenne muscular dystrophy; arm function; respiratory function; trunk control; trunk-oriented exercises.