Share this article on:

Anaerobic Performance in Children With Cerebral Palsy Compared to Children With Typical Development

Verschuren, Olaf PhD; Maltais, Désirée B. PhD; Douma-van Riet, Danielle MPPT; Kruitwagen, Cas MSc; Ketelaar, Marjolijn PhD

doi: 10.1097/PEP.0b013e3182a47022
Research Article

Purpose: Using a locomotor-based field test of anaerobic performance, this study compared the anaerobic performance of children with spastic cerebral palsy (CP) who walk without support with that of peers who are typically developing.

Methods: The Muscle Power Sprint Test was performed by 159 children with CP (102 boys, mean age 9.7 ± 1.5 years; and 57 girls, mean age 9.5 ± 1.6 years) classified at Gross Motor Function Classification System level I (n = 115) or level II (n = 44) and 376 children with typical development (175 boys, mean age 8.9 ± 1.8 years; and 201 girls, mean age 9.0 ± 1.7 years).

Results: The anaerobic performance of the children with CP was lower than that of peers with typical development.

Conclusions: The difference between the 2 groups increased with height, especially for the children with CP classified at Gross Motor Function Classification System level II. Children with CP appear to have impaired anaerobic performance.

Anaerobic performance of children with CP was found to be lower than that of peers with TD. The difference between the 2 groups increased with height, especially for children with CP classified at GMFCS level II.

Brain Center Rudolf Magnus and Center of Excellence for Rehabilitation Medicine (Drs Verschuren and Ketelaar), University Medical Center Utrecht and De Hoogstraat Rehabilitation, Utrecht, the Netherlands; Partner of NetChild (Drs Verschuren and Ketelaar), Network for Childhood Disability Research, Utrecht, the Netherlands; Department of Rehabilitation (Dr Maltais), Laval University, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada; Practice for Pediatric Physical Therapy (Ms Douma-van Reit), Zuidwest Koudum, the Netherlands; Julius Centre for Health Sciences and Primary Care (Ms Kruitwagen), Utrecht, the Netherlands.

Correspondence: Olaf Verschuren, PhD, Rehabilitation Centre De Hoogstraat, Rembrandtkade 10, 3583 TM, Utrecht, the Netherlands (

Grant Support: This research was supported by the Dr Phelps Foundation, the Netherlands. The funding body did not participate in the design and execution of the study; collection, management, analysis, and interpretation of the data; or preparation, review, or approval of the manuscript.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

© 2013 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins and the Section on Pediatrics of the American Physical Therapy Association.