Oxygen Cost Versus a 1-Minute Walk Test in a Population of Children With Bilateral Spastic Cerebral Palsy

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Difficulties with direct measurement of oxygen (O2) consumption have led to the use of simpler proxy measures to estimate energy efficiency in children with cerebral palsy. This study aimed to investigate the relationship between a fast 1-minute walk test and O2 cost in children with bilateral spastic cerebral palsy. Eighty-four children (31 girls, 53 boys; mean age, 10 years 11 months; Gross Motor Function Classification System level I n = 8, level II n = 41, level III n = 21, level IV n = 14) were eligible to participate in the study. Seventy-seven children completed the walk test and 47 children completed the O2 consumption protocol. Results showed significant differences between Gross Motor Function Classification System levels for both tests (P < 0.001) and a significant moderate quadratic relationship between the distance covered during the 1-minute fast-walk test and the net O2 cost (adjusted r2 = 0.477; P < 0.001). The 1-minute fast-walk test may provide useful information on the efficiency of gait in children with bilateral spastic cerebral palsy in the absence of more sophisticated equipment; however, further work is required to address its reliability and responsiveness.

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