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Effects of Partial Body Weight Supported Treadmill Training on Children with Cerebral Palsy

Mattern-Baxter, Katrin PT, DPT, PCS

doi: 10.1097/PEP.0b013e318196ef42
Research Report

Purpose: The purpose of this literature review was to investigate the effects of partial body weight supported treadmill training (BWSTT) on gross motor function, balance, gait speed, and endurance in children with cerebral palsy (CP).

Summary of Key Points: Larger numbers of preschool and school-aged children have been studied compared with infants and toddlers. More evidence exists regarding the efficacy of BWSTT on endurance, gait speed, and gross motor function related to ambulation than on balance in children with CP. Longer and more intense BWSTT protocols may lead to better results.

Statement of Conclusions: BWSTT has not been studied extensively in children with CP. Current evidence suggests that intensive and prolonged BWSTT may be a safe, effective, and beneficial treatment intervention for the attainment of walking, improvement of gait speed, and improvement of endurance for children with different types and degrees of CP.

Current evidence, although limited, suggests that intensive and prolonged BWSTT may be a safe, effective, and beneficial intervention for attaining walking and improving gait speed and endurance for children with different types and degrees of CP.

Department of Physical Therapy, University of the Pacific, Stockton, California

Address correspondence to: Katrin Mattern-Baxter, PT, DPT, PCS, Department of Physical Therapy, University of the Pacific, 3601 Pacific Avenue, Stockton, CA 95211. E-mail: kbaxter@pacific.edu

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.