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Res Dev Disabil. 2009 Nov-Dec;30(6):1420-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ridd.2009.07.002. Epub 2009 Jul 31.

Effect of seat surface inclination on postural stability and forward reaching efficiency in children with spastic cerebral palsy.

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Department of Physical Therapy, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan.


The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of seat surface inclination on postural stability and forward reaching efficiency in 10 children with spastic cerebral palsy (CP) and 16 typically developing (TD) children. The children performed a static sitting and a forward reaching task while sitting on a height- and inclination-adjustable stool at flat, three anterior-inclined, and three posterior-inclined positions. Postural stability was expressed as normalized (with body weight) peak vertical ground reaction force, center of pressure displacement in the anterior/posterior directions (COP_AP), in the medial/lateral directions (COP_ML), and sway ratio (COP_AP/COP_ML). Reaching efficiency was expressed as reaction time and movement time of arm reaching forward to a target. The results showed that seat inclination affected children's postural stability and the effects were comparable for CP and TD children in all measures except for COP_ML. Children with CP presented much larger COP_ML than TD children at the posterior-inclined positions relative to the flat and the anterior-inclined positions. Seat inclination affected reaching efficiency for both groups of children equally. Efficiency was better at the anterior positions than the posterior positions. Anterior-inclined positions improved postural stability and reaching efficiency. Posterior positions posed greater postural challenge and the challenge was tougher for children with CP.

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