Pediatric Physical Therapy

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Pediatric Physical Therapy:
doi: 10.1097/PEP.0b013e318227ca0f
Research Article

An Intensive Virtual Reality Program Improves Functional Balance and Mobility of Adolescents With Cerebral Palsy

Brien, Marie BSc (PT), MSc; Sveistrup, Heidi PhD

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Abstract

Purpose: To examine functional balance and mobility in adolescents with cerebral palsy classified at Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) level I following an intensive short-duration virtual reality (VR) intervention.

Methods: Single-subject, multiple-baseline design with 4 adolescents. Outcomes included the Community Balance and Mobility Scale (CB&M), the 6-Minute Walk Test (6MWT), the Timed Up and Down Stairs, and the Gross Motor Function Measure Dimension E. Assessments were recorded 3 to 6 times at baseline, 5 times during intervention, and 4 times at follow-up. Daily 90-minute VR intervention was completed for 5 consecutive days. Visual, statistical, and clinical significance analyses were used.

Results: Statistically significant improvements were shown in all adolescents on CB&M and 6MWT. True change was recorded in all for the CB&M and in 3 for the 6MWT.

Conclusions: Functional balance and mobility in adolescents with cerebral palsy classified at GMFCS level I improve with intense, short duration VR intervention, and changes are maintained at 1-month posttraining.

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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