Purpose: This study reports the secondary effects of a constraint-induced movement therapy (CIMT) protocol on spatial temporal parameters of gait, balance, and functional locomotor mobility in children with cerebral palsy.
Methods: Sixteen children (4–12 years old) participated in a 3-week CIMT program. Participants were tested on the first and last day of the CIMT program using the Standardized Walking Obstacle Course (SWOC), the Pediatric Balance Scale (PBS) and the GAITRite Gold system (CIR Systems, Inc, Havertown, Pennsylvania).
Results: Wilcoxon signed rank tests were used on all pre- and posttests. Only the spatial temporal parameters of cadence and velocity differed significantly, with 12 subjects displaying a faster cadence (P = .02) and 10 subjects displaying a faster velocity (P = .05).
Conclusion: In this pilot study, CIMT was found to promote changes in 2 spatial temporal parameters of gait. However, no changes were noted in the participant's measures on the SWOC and PBS.
Examination of the effects of CIMT on gait parameters, balance, and locomotor ability revealed that cadence and velocity of gait were improved after a 6-week program. The authors recommend additional study with more sensitive tools to examine what may be additional effects.
Department of Graduate Programs in Health Sciences (Dr Zipp), Seton Hall University, South Orange, and Department of Physical Therapy and General Rehab (Ms Winning), Children Specialized Hospital, Toms River and Mountainside, New Jersey.
Genevieve Pinto Zipp, PT, EdD, Department of Graduate Programs in Health Sciences, Seton Hall University, 400 South Orange Ave, South Orange, NJ 07079 (Genevieve.Zipp@shu.edu).
The authors declare no conflicts of interest.