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Contribution of Stepping While Standing to Function and Secondary Conditions Among Children with Cerebral Palsy

Eisenberg, Sharon PT, MSc; Zuk, Luba PT, PhD; Carmeli, Eli PT, PhD; Katz-Leurer, Michal PT, PhD

doi: 10.1097/PEP.0b013e31818f57f2
Research Report

Purpose: To explore the feasibility and efficacy of stepping while standing and its effect on function and prevalence of secondary conditions among children with severe cerebral palsy.

Methods: Of 22 children with severe cerebral palsy, 11 underwent treatment using a Hart Walker (HW) device, and the other 11 underwent a passive standing program. Constipation prevalence and adverse events were recorded. Bone quantitative ultrasound was performed for the tibia. The Pediatric Evaluation of Disability Inventory was used to assess activities of daily life.

Results: Children exposed to the HW improved bowel function, but no added quantitative benefit to bone was observed when compared with passive standing. Children using the HW were able to take steps independently in the device, but did not reach a functional walking level.

Conclusions: Providing a child who is nonambulatory the opportunity to walk may be important both for participation in activities of daily living and social roles and for preventing secondary conditions.

Providing a child who is nonambulatory the opportunity to walk may be important both for participation in activities of daily living and social roles and for preventing secondary conditions.

Physical Therapy Department, The Stanley Steyer School of Health Professions, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel-Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel

Address correspondence to: Michal Katz-Leurer, PhD, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Physical Therapy Department, School of Health Professions, Tel-Aviv University, Tel-Aviv 69978, Israel. E-mail: michalkz@post.tau.ac.il

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.