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Effects of Prolonged Standing on Gait in Children with Spastic Cerebral Palsy

date: 03/01/2005
author: Zabel, R J.; McMillan, A G.; Salem, Y
publication: Pediatric Physical Therapy:Volume 17(1)Spring 2005p 93
PURPOSE/HYPOTHESIS: The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of prolonged standing on several gait variables in ambulatory children with spastic cerebral palsy.
NUMBER OF SUBJECTS: Six children with spastic derebral palsy participated in this study with an average age of 6.5 years (SD = 2.5, range = 4 – 9.8).
MATERIALS/METHODS: A reverse baseline design (A-B-A) was used. During phase A, the children received their usual physical therapy treatment. During phase B, children received the prolonged standing program three times per week, in addition to their usual physical therapy treatment. During phase A2, children received their usual physical therapy treatment. Three dimensional gait analysis was performed before and after each phase. The Modified Ashworth Scale was used to measure muscle tone. Anaylsis of variance (ANOVA) for repeated measures was used to test for changes in gait measures across four measurement sessions.
RESULTS: Stride length (P < 0.001), speed (P < 0.001), stride time (P < 0.001), stance phase time (P < 0.005), and muscle tone (P < 0.02) improved significantly following the intervention period. No significant differences were found in swing phase time, double support time, foot angle, knee flexion angle, knee moment or ankle power.
CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study suggest that children with spastic cerebral palsy could benefit from a prolonged standing program to improve their gait.
CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Prolonged standing may improve gait in children with cerebral palsy.

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