The effects of Partial Body Weight Supported Treadmill Training on motor skills in children with non-spastic cerebral palsy

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The effects of Partial Body Weight Supported Treadmill Training on motor skills in children with non-spastic cerebral palsy


Author: Chung, Kai-yin
Title: The effects of Partial Body Weight Supported Treadmill Training on motor skills in children with non-spastic cerebral palsy
Degree: M.Sc.
Year: 2010
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Treadmill exercise -- Therapeutic use
Movement disorders in children -- Treatment
Cerebral palsy -- Treatment
Department: Dept. of Rehabilitation Sciences
Pages: x, 74 leaves : col. ill. ; 30 cm.
InnoPac Record:
Abstract: Partial Body Weight Supported Treadmill Training (PBWSTI) is a walking training that uses an overhead suspension system and a harness to relieve part of the participant's body weight while walking on a treadmill machine. Over the past 20 years, PBWSTT has been shown to be effective for gait training for patients with neurological disorders such as spinal cord injuries, Parkinson's disease, and Stroke. Recently, researchers began to evaluate its effects in children with cerebral palsy (CP). Other than single-case studies. the sample sizes of previous studies of PBWSTT for CP were usually small with range from 4 to 10 participants. Among these studies, most of them involved children with spastic CP. There were only two studies partially involved participants with non-spastic CP and the results of these two studies were inconclusive. Therefore, there is a still lack of evidence whether PBWSTT is effective for children with non-spastic CP as which is known to be very different from spastic CP. Moreover, the prevalence of non-spastic CP was around a quarter of population among school-aged children with CP in Hong Kong. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether PBWSTT could become one of the clinical tools for improving motor skills of children with non-spastic CP. Eight school-aged children with non-spastic CP were equally and randomly allocated into two groups. Each group of children received PBWSTT twice a week for 12 weeks and routine training for another 12 weeks but with reversed order. Motor skills of each participant were assessed by Functional Ambulation Categories (FAC) and Gross Motor Function Measure (GMFM) at the beginning, middle and the end of each phase. The following outcome measures were extracted for data analysis: 1) Gross Motor Function Measure (GMFM-66), 2) standing and walking dimensions of GMFM, 3) individual items in GMFM and 4) Functional Ambulation Categories (FAC). There were significant improvements in scores of GMFM-66, percentage change in the dimension D and E of GMFM, and scores of some individual items after PBWSTT. The 12 weeks PBWSTT program was shown to be effective in improving the motor skills of chiJdren with non-spastic CP. Further study is recommended to investigate the mechanism of these improvements.

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