This case report describes a simple means of estimating energy costs for a child with cerebral palsy using different assistive devices within a school setting.
A 9-year-old boy, Gross Motor Function Classification Scale level III, was assessed over 8 ambulation trials using a posterior walker and using forearm crutches. Each trial was followed by a fine motor accuracy task. An energy expenditure index (EEI) was calculated for each device. For the posterior walker, EEI was 47% higher overall compared with forearm crutches. Fine motor accuracy and task completion time were similar for both devices.
EEI was a straightforward method of estimating the energy costs of different assistive devices. Measurement procedures described in this case were time efficient in the field and provided a reasonable estimation of energy expenditure to help decide objectively which assistive device would best fit the needs of the student.
For more insights from the authors, see Supplemental Digital Content 1, available at http://links.lww.com/PPT/A63.