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Effects of Home-Based Locomotor Treadmill Training on Gross Motor Function in Young Children With Cerebral Palsy: A Quasi-Randomized Controlled Trial

      Abstract

      Objective

      To examine the effects of an intensive home-based program of treadmill training on motor skills related to walking in preambulatory children with cerebral palsy (CP).

      Design

      Quasi-randomized controlled trial.

      Setting

      Homes of the participants.

      Participants

      Children with CP (N=12) with Gross Motor Function Classification System levels I and II were assigned to the intervention group (n=6; mean age ± SD, 21.76±6.50mo) and control group (n=6; 21.25±6.07mo). All children were tested preintervention, postintervention, at a 1-month follow-up, and at a 4-month follow-up.

      Interventions

      All children received their weekly scheduled physical therapy sessions at their homes. In addition, children in the intervention group walked on a portable treadmill in their homes 6 times per week, twice daily for 10- to 20-minute sessions, for 6 weeks. The intervention was carried out by the children's parents with weekly supervision by a physical therapist.

      Main Outcome Measures

      Gross Motor Function Measure-66 Dimensions D/E, Peabody Developmental Motor Scales-2 (PDMS-2), Pediatric Evaluation of Disability Inventory (PEDI), timed 10-m walk test (10MWT), and Functional Mobility Scale (FMS). The Friedman test and Mann-Whitney U test were conducted for within-group and between-group differences, respectively.

      Results

      There was a significant between-group treatment effect for the PDMS-2 at posttest (P=.01) and 1-month postintervention follow-up (P=.09), as well as for the PEDI at posttest (P=.01), the 1-month postintervention follow-up (P=.009), and the 4-month postintervention follow-up (P=.04). The FMS was significant at the posttest (P=.04).

      Conclusions

      Home-based treadmill training accelerates the attainment of walking skills and decreases the amount of support used for walking in young children with CP.

      Keywords

      List of abbreviations:

      CP (cerebral palsy), Dim D/E (Dimensions D/E), DS (Down syndrome), FMS (Functional Mobility Scale), GMFCS (Gross Motor Function Classification Scale), GMFM-66 (Gross Motor Function Measure-66), LTT (locomotor treadmill training), PDMS-2 (Peabody Developmental Motor Scales-2), PEDI (Pediatric Evaluation of Disability Inventory), 10MWT (10-m walk test)
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