Commentary on “Cardiac Autonomic System Response to Submaximal Test in Children With Cerebral Palsy”
This article provides evidence regarding the cardiac autonomic activity of children with cerebral palsy (CP) at rest, during submaximal exercise, and during recovery from exercise. Clinicians would benefit from this information if they are concerned about the reactivity of the cardiac autonomic system of patients with CP when performing endurance testing or increasing physical activity as part of an examination, a treatment plan, or a home program. Cardiopulmonary activities can be incorporated into the examination or treatment plan of some children who have CP.
“What should I be mindful about when applying this information?”
Children only with Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFSC) I, II, and III were participants in this study. The age range of the subjects was 6 to 11 years. The information may not be applicable to children with lower motor performance and those younger than 6 years or older than 11 years. The sample size of 20 is small and only 1 subject completed the entire test. The subjects self-limited their participation in the study and stopped the testing when it became subjectively too difficult to continue. Because of the study limitations, the information is difficult to apply clinically for all children with CP. Future research could include a lager sample size, the inclusion of children from a larger age range and inclusion of children from all GMFSC levels. This may require the use of different exercise tests in the study.