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Associations between gait kinematics, gross motor function and physical activity among young people with cerebral palsy: A cross sectional study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Jennifer M. Ryan, Grace Lavelle, Marika Noorkoiv, Damien Kiernan, Nicola Theis, Úna Little, Adam Shortland, Ailish Malone

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-80
Number of pages10
JournalPhysiotherapy Practice and Research
Volume43
Issue number1
DOIs
Published2022

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Abstract

INTRODUCTION: The aim of this study was to investigate the association between gait parameters, gross motor function and physical activity (PA) in young people with cerebral palsy (CP). METHODS: Thirty-eight adolescents aged between 10-19 years with spastic CP in GMFCS levels I-III (mean [standard deviation] age 13.7 [2.4] yr; 53%female) were included in this cross-sectional study. Hip, knee and ankle joint excursion and stance time was assessed using 3D gait analysis. Self-selected walking speed was assessed during a timed 10 m overground walk and treadmill walking. Gross motor function was assessed using dimensions D and E of the Gross Motor Function Measure (GMFM-66). Moderate-to-vigorous PA, light PA and step-count were assessed using an accelerometer. Linear regression was used to examine associations. RESULTS: After adjusting for age, sex and GMFCS level, percentage stance time was associated with dimension E of the GMFM-66 (β= -0.29, 95%CI -0.54 to -0.05). There was no evidence that any other gait parameters were associated with GMFM-66 dimensions D or E. There was also no evidence that gait parameters or GMFM-66 dimensions D or E were associated with step-count or time in PA after adjusting for age, sex and GMFCS level. DISCUSSION: The findings provide an insight into the complexity of the relationship between gait quality or ability at the impairment level, function as measured in a controlled environment, and the performance of habitual PA, which is essential for health among children with CP.

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