Acceptability of a progressive resistance training programme for ambulatory adolescents with spastic cerebral palsy in England: a qualitative study

Jennifer M. Ryan, Cherry Kilbride, Marika Noorkoiv, Nicola Theis, Adam Shortland, Wendy Levin, Grace Lavelle

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Abstract

Purpose
The aim of this study was to explore the acceptability of a 10-week progressive resistance training programme from the perspective of ambulatory adolescents with CP and physiotherapists.

Material and Methods
Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 32 adolescents with spastic CP, aged 10–19 years in Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) levels I–III, and 13 physiotherapists. Adolescents had completed a 10-week progressive resistance training programme and physiotherapists had delivered the programme. The Framework Method was used to analyse data.

Results
The analysis identified four themes. “It’s do-able” described the acceptability of the programme structure, including the frequency of sessions and the duration of the programme. “They were difficult but I did it” described the acceptability of the exercises. “It is completely different,” explored the experience of using equipment to progress the programme and “I wish I could do it on a permanent basis” discussed continuing to participate in resistance training.

Conclusions
Findings suggest that resistance training is largely acceptable to adolescents and physiotherapists. Acceptability was enhanced by having a weekly supervised session and being able to adapt and progress the exercises to meet the individual’s ability. However, there are challenges to implementing progressive resistance training as part of routine practice.Clinical trial registration number: ISRCTN90378161
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation
Early online date8 May 2023
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 8 May 2023

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