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Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2007 Nov;161(11):1075-81.

Exercise training program in children and adolescents with cerebral palsy: a randomized controlled trial.

Author information

1
Rehabilitation Centre De Hoogstraat, Department of Pediatric Physical Therapy and Exercise Physiology, University Hospital for Children and Youth Het Wilhelmina Kinderziekenhuis, Utrecht, The Netherlands. o.verschuren@dehoogstraat.nl

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate the effects of an 8-month training program with standardized exercises on aerobic and anaerobic capacity in children and adolescents with cerebral palsy.

DESIGN:

Pragmatic randomized controlled clinical trial with blinded outcome evaluation between July 2005 and October 2006.

SETTING:

Participants were recruited from 4 schools for special education in the Netherlands.

PARTICIPANTS:

A total of 86 children with cerebral palsy (aged 7-18 years) classified at Gross Motor Function Classification System level I or II.

INTERVENTION:

Participants were randomly assigned to either the training group (n = 32) or the control group (n = 33). The training group met twice per week for 45 minutes to circuit train in a group format that focused on aerobic and anaerobic exercises.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Aerobic capacity was assessed by the 10-m shuttle run test, and anaerobic capacity was assessed by the Muscle Power Sprint Test. Secondary outcome measures included agility, muscle strength, self-competence, gross motor function, participation level, and health-related quality of life.

RESULTS:

A significant training effect was found for aerobic (P < .001) and anaerobic capacity (P = .004). A significant effect was also found for agility (P < .001), muscle strength (P < .001), and athletic competence (P = .005). The intensity of participation showed a similar effect for formal (P < .001), overall (P = .002), physical (P = .005), and skilled-based activities (P < .001). On the health-related quality of life measure, a significant improvement was found for the motor (P = .001), autonomy (P = .02), and cognition (P = .04) domains.

CONCLUSIONS:

An exercise training program improves physical fitness, participation level, and quality of life in children with cerebral palsy when added to standard care.

TRIAL REGISTRATION:

isrctn.org Identifier: ISRCTN77274716.

PMID:
17984410
DOI:
10.1001/archpedi.161.11.1075
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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