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Effectiveness of Static Weight-Bearing Exercises in Children with Cerebral Palsy

Pin, Tamis Wai-mun MSc

Pediatric Physical Therapy:
doi: 10.1097/PEP.0b013e3180302111
Research Report
Abstract

Purpose: Physiotherapists commonly use static weight-bearing exercises in children with cerebral palsy, which are believed to stimulate antigravity muscle strength, prevent hip dislocation, improve bone mineral density, improve self-esteem, improve feeding, assist bowel and urinary functions, reduce spasticity, and improve hand function. The effectiveness of these exercises has not been thoroughly investigated. This systematic review aimed to examine the research evidence of the effectiveness of static weight-bearing exercises in children with cerebral palsy.

Methods: Ten studies met the inclusion criteria for this review.

Results: The evidence supporting the effectiveness of static weight-bearing exercises in children with cerebral palsy, except the findings of increased bone density and temporary reduction in spasticity, remains limited because of an inadequate number of studies undertaken, inadequate rigor of the research designs and the small number of subjects involved.

Conclusion: Clinicians should carefully consider all available evidence before making a decision regarding the potential effectiveness of static weight-bearing for the targeted outcomes.

In Brief

This systematic review of the literature indicates that clinicians should carefully consider all available evidence before making a decision regarding the potential effectiveness of static weight-bearing exercises.

Author Information

School of Physiotherapy, University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Address correspondence to: Tamis Wai-mun Pin, PO BOX 143, North Melbourne, Victoria, 3051 Australia.

© 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.