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Technologies 2016, 4(3), 22; doi:10.3390/technologies4030022

Measuring Outcomes for Children with Cerebral Palsy Who Use Gait Trainers

Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children, Vancouver, BC V5M 3E8, Canada
Montgomery County Infants and Toddlers Program, Rockville, MD 20832, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Jeffrey Jutai
Received: 8 May 2016 / Revised: 17 July 2016 / Accepted: 22 July 2016 / Published: 1 August 2016
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [688 KB, uploaded 2 August 2016]   |  


Gait trainers are walking devices that provide additional trunk and pelvic support. The primary population of children using gait trainers includes children with cerebral palsy (CP) functioning at Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) levels IV and V. A recent systematic review found that evidence supporting the effectiveness of gait trainer interventions for children was primarily descriptive and insufficient to draw firm conclusions. A major limitation identified was the lack of valid, sensitive and reliable tools for measuring change in body structure and function, activity and participation outcomes. Twelve different clinical tools were identified in the systematic review and in this paper we review and discuss the evidence supporting their reliability, validity and clinical utility for use with children using gait trainers. We also describe seven additional clinical measurement tools that may be useful with this intervention and population. The Pediatric Evaluation of Disability Inventory (PEDI) rated highest across all areas at this time. Individualized outcome measures, such as the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure (COPM) and Goal Attainment Scaling and measuring user satisfaction with tools, such as the Quebec User Evaluation of Satisfaction with assistive Technology, show potential for gait trainer outcomes research. Spatiotemporal measures appear to be less useful than functional measures with this intervention and population. All tools would benefit from further development for use with children with CP functioning at GMFCS levels IV and V. View Full-Text
Keywords: gait trainer; outcome measure; cerebral palsy; support walker; body weight support; overground training; GMFCS levels IV and V gait trainer; outcome measure; cerebral palsy; support walker; body weight support; overground training; GMFCS levels IV and V

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Livingstone, R.; Paleg, G. Measuring Outcomes for Children with Cerebral Palsy Who Use Gait Trainers. Technologies 2016, 4, 22.

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