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Spastic cerebral palsy (CP) is the most common motor disability in childhood, affecting 1 in 345 children in the U.S. Functional gait training (FGT) has been used with and without electrical stimulation (ES) to improve gait.The purpose of this study is to evaluate existing research on the effectiveness of FGT with and without ES to improve gait speed and endurance, step length, and gross motor function in young children with spastic CP. The investigators evaluated 6 studies aimed at analyzing the effects of FGT with and without ES on gait function in children with spastic CP. Three of the studies were meta-analyses, which examined a combined total of 73 studies from 1961 to 2019 with 430 participants. Based on the review of literature, FGT without ES resulted in better gait outcomes as compared to FGT with ES. In terms of gait speed, FGT without ES had an effect size of .53 (95% Cl, 0.15-0.92), indicating a large effect size as compared to an effect size of .14 (95% Cl, 0.017-0.15), indicating a small effect size. In addition, the research findings indicate that a major limitation of adding ES is that the induced muscle activation leads to an overall decrease in the efficiency of muscular contraction, and an increase in neuromuscular fatigue. Finally, FGT without ES is the most cost effective intervention in correcting gait dysfunction in children with spastic CP.
Functional Gait Training
Gross Motor Function
Ross, Sydney, "Comparative Analysis of Gait Interventions For Pediatric Cerebral Palsy" (2022). Student Scholarship & Creative Works. 15.