Purpose: This study was designed to investigate changes in endurance, functional gait, and balance after intensive body weight-supported treadmill training in children with CP who were ambulatory.
Methods: Six school-aged children with CP (four boys, two girls; age range: six to 14 years) participated in an intensive program of body weight-supported treadmill training 30 minutes twice daily for two weeks.
Results: Statistically significant improvement in walking velocity and energy expenditure were observed. Variability of individual outcomes was observed with some children showing positive changes, and others no change or a decline in performance. Four children showed minimal detectable changes in a positive direction on both an endurance measure and a functional gait measure. Each endurance and functional gait measure included at least one child with a positive minimal detectable change.
Conclusion: Intensive body weight-supported treadmill training may be an effective intervention for some children with CP who are ambulatory.