Effects of Traditional Treatment and Partial Body Weight Treadmill Training on the Motor Skills of Children With Spastic Cerebral Palsy: A Pilot Study

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Abstract

Purpose:

This study was designed to examine the effects of intensive traditional physical therapy treatment methods combined with partial body weight treadmill training (PBWTT) on motor and ambulatory skills of children with cerebral palsy.

Methods:

Five children (2.3 to 9.7 years) with cerebral palsy participated in a therapy program for four weeks, three to four sessions per week, for two hours per session. Outcomes were measured using the Gross Motor Function Measure, Pediatric Evaluation of Disability Inventory, pedographs, and the Timed 10-Meter Walk Test.

Results:

Wilcoxon paired-sample tests and percent changes showed a significant (p < 0.05) decrease in mean step length differences. Results indicate improvements in motor and ambulatory skills of individual children indicating positive measurable outcomes of intensive physical therapy with partial body weight treadmill training.

Conclusions:

An intensive episode of physical therapy of reasonable frequency and duration that includes partial body weight treadmill training may be effective in improving motor skills of children with spastic CP.

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