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Date of Award


Degree Type

Capstone Project (On-Campus Access Only)

Degree Name

Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)

First Advisor

Richard Rutt PT, Ph.D.


The literature supports the use of progressive strength training to improve lower extremity strength of adults and adolescents with CP. The findings reveal that grossly there were significant increases in lower extremity strength after training but these results were not seen when isolating single muscle groups. Additionally, the evidence supports that there is a need for continuing a progressive strength training program due to a decrease in strength after stopping the program.

The literature did not consistently support the use of a progressive strength training program to improve walking ability or gait velocity. However, there were trends for improvements in these avenues, which were hindered due to limited sample sizes and increased threats to internal validity that affected the power of statistical analysis.

With regards to ROM, the evidence supports clinically significant improvements in ROM as determined by exceeding the standard measurement of error.

The average rating of all ten studies on the PEDro scale was four out of ten (Table 1). The ratings indicate that there needs to be additional research in this area due to a lack of quality in the studies available to substantiate these results. As a result, because of the overall low PEDro scores, low sample sizes, and threats to internal and external validity caution should be used in establishing clinical guidelines for all outcome measures based on the results of these articles.


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