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Strength Training for Adolescents with cerebral palsy (STAR): study protocol of a randomised controlled trial to determine the feasibility, acceptability and efficacy of resistance training for adolescents with cerebral palsy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Jennifer M Ryan, Nicola Theis, Cherry Kilbride, Vasilios Baltzopoulos, Charlie Waugh, Adam Shortland, Grace Lavelle, Marika Noorkoiv, Wendy Levin, Thomas Korff

Original languageEnglish
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number10
Early online date4 Oct 2016
Accepted/In press9 Sep 2016
E-pub ahead of print4 Oct 2016

King's Authors


Introduction Gait is inefficient in children with cerebral palsy, particularly as they transition to adolescence. Gait inefficiency may be associated with declines in gross motor function and participation among adolescents with cerebral palsy. Resistance training may improve gait efficiency through a number of biomechanical and neural mechanisms. The aim of the Strength Training for Adolescents with cerebral palsy (STAR) trial is to evaluate the effect of resistance training on gait efficiency, activity and participation in adolescents with cerebral palsy. We also aim to determine the biomechanical and neural adaptations that occur following resistance training and evaluate the feasibility and acceptability of such an intervention for adolescents with cerebral palsy.Methods and analysis 60 adolescents (Gross Motor Function Classification System level ItextendashIII) will be randomised to a 10-week resistance training group or a usual care control group according to a computer-generated random schedule. The primary outcome is gait efficiency. Secondary outcomes are habitual physical activity, participation, muscletextendashtendon mechanics and gross motor function. General linear models will be used to evaluate differences in continuous data between the resistance training and usual care groups at 10 and 22 weeks, respectively. A process evaluation will be conducted alongside the intervention. Fidelity of the resistance training programme to trial protocol will be quantified by observations of exercise sessions. Semistructured interviews will be conducted with participants and physiotherapists following the resistance training programme to determine feasibility and acceptability of the programme.Ethics and dissemination This trial has ethical approval from Brunel University London's Department of Clinical Sciences' Research Ethics Committee and the National Research Ethics Service (NRES) Committee LondontextemdashSurrey Borders. The results of the trial will be submitted for publication in academic journals, presented at conferences and distributed to adolescents, families and healthcare professionals through the media with the assistance of the STAR advisory group.Trial registration number ISRCTN90378161; Pre-results.

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