A Home-Based Body Weight-Supported Treadmill Program for Children With Cerebral Palsy: A Pilot Study

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Abstract

Purpose:

The purpose of this pilot study was to explore the effect and feasibility of a home-based body weight-supported treadmill training (BWSTT) program on walking capacity and functional mobility in children with cerebral palsy (CP).

Methods:

A within-subjects, repeated-measures design was used. Ten children with CP ages 6 to 16 years participated in pre- and postintervention testing sessions, an initial home training session, and a 12-week home-based BWSTT program conducted 3 to 4 times per week by a parent or caregiver for up to 20 minutes each session. Multiple outcome measures for walking capacity and functional mobility were used.

Results:

As a group, participants demonstrated significant improvements in walking capacity and functional mobility at the completion the 12-week intervention program.

Conclusions:

Additional research regarding home-based BWSTT programs in children with CP is warranted and should focus on identifying specific parameters that promote achievement of optimal functional outcomes.

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