Purpose: To capture and analyze the evidence concerning the effects of progressive strength training on function and gait in children and adolescents with cerebral palsy (CP) who are ambulatory.
Method: A language-inclusive search was conducted for controlled or noncontrolled studies of strength training for subjects with CP who were ambulatory and aged 4 to 20 years, using objective outcome measures. Quality was assessed with the Maastricht-Amsterdam List. Data were extracted and analyzed.
Results: The 13 included articles favored treatment without significant adverse effects. Function and gait improved more following isotonic rather than isokinetic training, and in younger rather than older subjects.
Conclusions: Function and gait improvements were greater in preadolescents.