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Is partial body-weight supported treadmill training with and/or without dynamic gait orthosis effective in improving functional gait in children with cerebral palsy?

23 May 2009


There are a limited number of studies available in the research on PBWSTT in children diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Published studies are of low methodological quality, which makes the ability to generalize the results difficult. The research has been performed on a large age range of children and on children with vast differences in functional abilities. This, combined with differences in intervention variables and lack of information about exact intervention protocol, makes it additionally difficult to gather a complete picture of the effectiveness of PBWSTT in children with cerebral palsy. However, in each of the studies presented, positive functional changes in walking form or ability were observed in all who could tolerate the intensity of the training. Despite an overall lack of statistical significance in the majority of the studies, clinically significant changes occurred in the targeted population that suggest PBWSTT may be a viable treatment for improving functional gait in children with cerebral palsy in conjunction with other therapeutic interventions.


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