European Journal of Paediatric Neurology vol:14 issue:6 pages:519-525
AIM: This prospective double blind intervention study aims to evaluate the effectiveness of an individually defined physiotherapy program on the function and gait pattern of 16 children with diplegia (age 3-12 year, GMFCS I-II). METHOD: A 6 weeks general training program was followed by a specific training program based on individual goals determined by the results of 3D gait analyses, GMFM-88 and a clinical evaluation. Goal attainment scores were used for the evaluation of the achievement of individual goals. RESULTS: After the general training program, 6.7% of the children achieved the treatment goals, 33.3% stayed at the same level and 60% worsened and this in comparison to 40, 33.3 and 26.6% of the children respectively after the individually defined training program. The improvement for walking, running and jumping of the GMFM-88 was significantly more pronounced after the individually defined (p < 0.05), compared to the general training program. Whereas ankle dorsiflexion, spasticity of the hamstrings (p < 0.01), selectivity of hip abductors, knee extensors and ankle dorsiflexors significantly improved over the complete period of study (p < 0.01), hip extension, step length, stride length, ankle power generation and all hip parameters changed specifically after the individually defined training program (p < 0.01). CONCLUSION: A quantified effect is manifest with the application of an individually defined training program over a six weeks period.