The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of prolonged standing on gait characteristics in children with spastic cerebral palsy. Six children with spastic cerebral palsy participated in this study with an average age of 6.5 years (SD 2.5, range 4.09.8 years). A reverse baseline design (A-B-A) was used over a 9-week period. During phase A, the children received their usual physical therapy treatment. During phase B, children received the prolonged standing program three times per week, in addition to their usual physical therapy treatment. During phase A2, children received their usual physical therapy treatment. Gait analysis and clinical assessment of spasticity were performed before and after each phase. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) for repeated measurements was used to test for changes in gait measures across the four measurement sessions. Friedman's was used to test for changes in muscle tone (Modified Ashworth Scale) across the four measurement sessions. Stride length (p <.001), gait speed (p <.001), stride time (p <.001), stance phase time (p <.001), double support time (p <.003), muscle tone (p <.02), and peak dorsiflexion angle during midstance (p <.004) improved significantly following the intervention phase. The results of this study demonstrate that the gait pattern of children with cerebral palsy classified as level II or III on the Gross Motor Functional Classification System (GMFCS) improved by a prolonged standing program. However, these improvements were not maintained at 3 weeks. Further research is necessary with larger sample sizes to replicate these findings and determine specific "dosing" for standing programs to create long-lasting functional effects on gait.
- Cerebral palsy
- Standing program