A randomised controlled trial of different intensities of physiotherapy and different goal-setting procedures in 44 children with cerebral palsy

Dev Med Child Neurol. 1996 Mar;38(3):226-37. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8749.1996.tb15084.x.


Forty-four children aged 3 to 11 years with quadriplegic cerebral palsy were prospectively stratified and randomised into four treatment groups. The acquisition of motor skills was assessed in a 2 x 2 factorial design using the Gross Motor Function Measure. The two factors were conventional amounts of physiotherapy vs intensive amounts of physiotherapy, and the use of broad, generalised aims vs the use of specific measurable goals directed at motor skill acquisition. 82% of the children improved. Over the two-week period, intensive physiotherapy produced a slightly greater effect than conventional physiotherapy but the factor more strongly associated with increased motor skill acquisition was the use of specific measurable goals.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Cerebral Palsy / therapy*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Goals*
  • Humans
  • Motor Skills
  • Physical Therapy Modalities*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Severity of Illness Index