Interventions to Improve or Maintain Lower-Limb Function Among Ambulatory Adolescents with Cerebral Palsy: A Cross-Sectional Survey of Current Practice in the UK

Gerasimos Taflampas, Cherry Kilbride, Wendy Levin, Grace Lavelle, Jennifer M. Ryan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: To describe physiotherapy management to improve or maintain lower-limb function among adolescents with cerebral palsy, classified in Gross Motor Function Classification System levels I–III, in the United Kingdom (UK). Methods: A list of interventions was identified using a nominal group technique and developed into a survey, which was distributed to approximately 2,100 pediatric physiotherapists in the UK through the Association of Pediatric Chartered Physiotherapists and a private physiotherapy clinic in London between April and June 2015. One-hundred and thirty-five physiotherapists completed the survey. Survey respondents indicated how frequently they used each intervention (i.e., “frequently,” “sometimes,” “rarely,” and “never”) in the past year. Results: Provision of explanations to the child, liaison with families, liaison with health professionals, provision of advice to schools, and stretching were the most frequently used interventions with 90%, 90%, 86%, 79%, and 76% of respondents, respectively, reporting that they frequently used each. The interventions most commonly reported as “never” used were conductive education (88%), MOVE programme (85%), functional electrical stimulation (82%), body-weight supported treadmill training (80%), and rebound therapy (71%). Conclusions: This study suggests that a large number of interventions are used by physiotherapists in the United Kingdom to improve or maintain lower-limb function among adolescents with CP, not all of which are evidence-based.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)355-369
Number of pages15
JournalPhysical and Occupational Therapy in Pediatrics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 8 Aug 2018


  • activity
  • adolescents
  • body structures and functions
  • Cerebral palsy
  • physiotherapy interventions

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