Purpose: 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.
Key Points: 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.
Conclusion: 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.
Video Abstract: For more insights from the authors, see Supplemental Digital Content 1, available at http://links.lww.com/PPT/A63.