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J Pediatr Rehabil Med. 2012;5(2):75-88. doi: 10.3233/PRM-2012-0199.

Randomized controlled trial assessing participation and quality of life in a supported speed treadmill training exercise program vs. a strengthening program for children with cerebral palsy.

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Shriners Hospitals for ChildrenĀ®, Shreveport, LA 71103, USA.



A multi-site Randomized-Controlled Trial compared a home-based Supported Speed Treadmill Training Exercise Program (SSTTEP) with a strengthening exercise program in children with cerebral palsy (CP) on the following categories; Participation, quality of life (QOL), self-concept, goal attainment, and satisfaction.


Twenty-six children with spastic cerebral palsy were assigned by site-based block randomization to the SSTTEP (n=14) or strengthening exercise (n=12) group. Both groups participated in a two week clinic-based induction period and continued the intervention at home for ten weeks. Data were collected at baseline, post-intervention (12 weeks), and follow-up (16 weeks). Assessments included the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure, Children's Assessment of Participation and Enjoyment Scale, Pediatric Quality of Life Cerebral Palsy Module, and Piers-Harris Children's Self-Concept Scale. Evaluators were blinded to group assignment at two sites.


Satisfaction and performance on individual goals, participation, and parent-reported QOL improved in both groups with improvement maintained for four weeks post intervention.


The hypothesis that the SSTTEP group would have better outcomes than the exercise group was not supported. However, both groups showed that children with CP can make gains in participation, individual goals, and satisfaction following a 12-week intensive exercise intervention, and these findings persisted for four weeks post intervention.

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