A pilot study of quality of life in children with cerebral palsy after intensive body weight-supported treadmill training.

PURPOSE: This pilot study was designed to examine the effects of a 2-week program of intensive body weight-supported treadmill training (BWSTT) on clinical measures of perceived health-related quality of life and fatigue in children with cerebral palsy. METHODS: Six children with spastic cerebral palsy (aged 6-14 years; all classified as Gross Motor Function Classification System Level I) received two 30-minute sessions of BWSTT daily for 2 weeks, and completed questionnaires preintervention and postintervention.

RESULTS: Ratings by children and their parents who completed the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory and Multidisciplinary Fatigue module resulted in nonsignificant higher mean postscores. However, of the children with complete data, 4 showed minimal clinically important differences by child and parent-proxy report.

CONCLUSIONS: Results suggest that positive health-related quality of life changes can be identified after an intensive intervention of BWSTT, and should include ratings from both children and parents.