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A Pilot Study of Quality of Life in Children with Cerebral Palsy After Intensive Body Weight-Supported Treadmill Training

Dieruf, Kathy PT, PhD; Burtner, Patricia A. OTR/L, PhD; Provost, Beth PT, PhD; Phillips, John MD; Bernitsky-Beddingfield, Ann PT; Sullivan, Katherine J. PT, PhD

doi: 10.1097/PEP.0b013e31818ec835
Research Report

Purpose: This pilot study was designed to examine the effects of a 2-week program of intensive body weight-supported treadmill training (BWSTT) on clinical measures of perceived health-related quality of life and fatigue in children with cerebral palsy.

Methods: Six children with spastic cerebral palsy (aged 6–14 years; all classified as Gross Motor Function Classification System Level I) received two 30-minute sessions of BWSTT daily for 2 weeks, and completed questionnaires preintervention and postintervention.

Results: Ratings by children and their parents who completed the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory™ and Multidisciplinary Fatigue module resulted in nonsignificant higher mean postscores. However, of the children with complete data, 4 showed minimal clinically important differences by child and parent-proxy report.

Conclusions: Results suggest that positive health-related quality of life changes can be identified after an intensive intervention of BWSTT, and should include ratings from both children and parents.

Results suggest that positive Health Related Quality of Life changes can be identified following an intensive intervention of BWSTT and should include ratings from both children and parents.

Physical Therapy Graduate Program (K.D., B.P.), Department of Orthopaedics, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque; Occupational Therapy Graduate Program (P.A.B.), Department of Pediatrics, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque; Department of Neurology (J.P., A.B.-B.), University of New Mexico, Albuquerque; and Department of Physical Therapy and Biokinesiology (K.J.S.), University of Southern California, Los Angeles

Address correspondence to: Kathy Dieruf, PT, PhD, Physical Therapy Graduate Program, MSC09 5230, 1 University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001. E-mail:

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.