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Arch Rehabil Res Clin Transl, 2020; 2(3): 100068, PMID: 33543094

The Effect of Vibration Therapy on Walking Endurance in Children and Young People With Cerebral Palsy: Do Age and Gross Motor Function Classification System Matter?

Year: 2020

Telford D, Vesey RM, Hofman PL, Gusso S
Exercise Sciences Department, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand.


Objective: To investigate the effect of age and Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) level on walking endurance after 20 weeks of vibration therapy in children and young people with cerebral palsy (CP). Design: The study was a clinical trial without control group comparing baseline and postintervention outcomes within participants. Setting: Vibration therapy was performed at school or at home. Assessments took place in a clinical research unit. Participants: Children and young people (N=59) with CP, aged 5-20 years, GMFCS level II, III, or IV, recruited through schools, physiotherapy services, and District Health Board clinics, Auckland, New Zealand. Interventions: Participants performed side-alternating whole-body vibration therapy (WBVT) at 20 Hz and 3-mm amplitude, 9 minutes per day, 4 times per week for 20 weeks. Main Outcome Measures: Distance walked in the 6-minute walk test (6MWT) was recorded before and after the intervention. Results: Participants baseline results for the 6MWT were lower, independent of age or GMFCS, when compared to non-CP literature. On average, participants walked 12% further in the 6MWT after the intervention (P<.001). There was significant improvement in 6MWT distance in all age groups (5-10y: 16%, P<.001; 11-15y: 10%, P=.001; 16-20y: 13%, P<.001) and all GMFCS levels (level II: 10%, P<.001, level III: 40%, P=.013, level IV: 57%, P=.007). There was a greater percentage improvement in the distance walked in those with GMFCS level III and level IV than level II (P=.049 and P<.001, respectively). Conclusions: WBVT had a beneficial effect on walking endurance in children and young people with CP, independent of age and GMFCS.

Keywords: CP, GMFCS
GID: 5294; Last update: 09.02.2021
More information: Original Article