Predicting Walking in Young Children with Cerebral Palsy
Physical Therapy published research on 80 children with cerebral palsy (ages 2-6 years old, GMFCS Levels II-III) to examine what skills help to determine independent walking to help guide physical therapy decision-making. One year prior to walking postural control, reciprocal lower limb movement, functional strength, and motivation were measured. Family support to child and support to the child’s family was measured seven months after study onset.
The results indicated the following:
1. a measure of functional strength and dynamic postural control in a sit to stand activity was the only significant predictor of taking ≥ 3 steps independently. The model correctly identified a Walker or Non-walker 75% of the time.
The researchers concluded that sitting to/from standing predicted independent walking in young children with cerebral palsy. They recommend prospective longitudinal studies to determine indicators of readiness for independent walking.
Reference: Begnoche DM et al. Predictors of Independent Walking in Young Children With Cerebral Palsy. Phys Ther. 2015 Jun 18. [Epub ahead of print]