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Functional Task Training Combined With Electrical Stimulation Improves Motor Capacity in Children With Unilateral Cerebral Palsy

A Single-Subject Design

Gonçalves, Rejane Vale, PT, PhD; Fonseca, Sérgio Teixeira, PT, ScD; de Araújo, Priscila Albuquerque, PT, PhD; Souza, Thales Rezende, PT, PhD; Resende, Renan Alves, PT, PhD; Mancini, Marisa Cotta, OT, ScD

doi: 10.1097/PEP.0000000000000588
RESEARCH REPORTS
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Purpose: Reduced propulsive capability can impact negatively on mobility activities of many children with spastic unilateral cerebral palsy (SUCP). This study investigated the effect of a task-oriented training program combined with functional electrical stimulation (FES) on the motor capacity of children with SUCP.

Methods: Single-case A-B design with follow-up. Gross motor function and biomechanical walking data of 4 children with SUCP were measured repeatedly across the baseline, intervention, and follow-up phases. Intervention was a task-oriented training program combined with FES applied on the gastrocnemius. Outcome variables included gait speed, impulsive torque, and ankle/hip power generation ratio. The 2-SD band and celeration line methods compared outcomes among the baseline, intervention, and follow-up periods.

Results: One child improved walking speed. All children improved impulsive torque and ankle/hip power ratio of the affected leg. All children improved gross motor function.

Conclusion: The intervention improved children's propulsive capability and positively influenced their mobility.

This study investigated if gastrocnemius FES combined with training of functional tasks produce improvements in variables related to walking performance, capacity for propulsive force generation, and changes in gross motor function of children with SUCP.

Graduate Program in Rehabilitation Sciences (Drs Fonseca, Araújo, Souza, Resende and Mancini), School of Physical Education, Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil; Physical Therapy Department (Dr Gonçalves), Faculdade de Ciências Médicas de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil.

Correspondence: Marisa Cotta Mancini, OT, ScD, Graduate Program in Rehabilitation Sciences, School of Physical Education, Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Av. Antônio Carlos 6627, 31270-010, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil (mcmancini@ufmg.br; marisacmancini@gmail.com).

Grant Support: M. Mancini received financial support for this study from grants by the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq), the Research Support Foundation from the State of Minas Gerais (FAPEMIG; CDS-APQ-00704-15), and the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES; Finance Code 001), Brazil.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Copyright © 2019 Academy of Pediatric Physical Therapy of the American Physical Therapy Association