Prospective Evaluation of Postural Control and Gait in Pediatric Patients with Cancer After a 4-Week Inpatient Rehabilitation Program

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The aim of the study was to investigate the effects of a 4-wk inpatient rehabilitation program on postural control and gait in pediatric patients with cancer.


Eighty-eight patients with brain tumors (n = 59) and bone/soft tissue sarcomas (n = 29) were evaluated. Postural control was assessed examining the velocity of the center of pressure and single-leg stance time on a pressure distribution platform. Walk ratio, a measure of neuromotor control, was used to evaluate intervention effects on gait.


Repeated measures analysis of variance showed improvements in postural control measures, indicated by a decrease in velocity of center of pressure of −0.4 cm/sec (F1,80 = 7.175, P = 0.009, ηp2 = 0.082) and increase in single-leg stance time (mean [median] = 1.1 [2.6] sec, respectively; F1,80 = 12.617, P = 0.001, ηp2 = 0.136). Walk ratio increased by 0.2 mm/steps per min (F1,82 = 3.766, P = 0.056, ηp2 = 0.044). Mean changes in dependent variables did not differ between both patient groups (P > 0.05).


The results indicate benefits of an inpatient rehabilitation program comprising standard physical therapy as well as aquatic and hippo therapy on postural control and gait after treatment of pediatric patients with cancer.

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