Influence of gait analysis on decision-marketing for lower extremity surgery

The relationship of physical activity to health status in cerebral palsy


  1. 1. School of Nursing, Departments of Rehabilitation Medicine and Pediatrics, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA

Objectives: Caregivers have reported less than normal general and physical health for youth with cerebral palsy (CP). This stuidy investigates the relationship of self-reported physical activity (PA) the health status (HS) of youth with CP compared with typically developing (TD) youth.

Design: Cross-sectional comparison study.

Setting: Three tertiary care children’s hospitals and a regional military hospital.

Participants: A convenience sample of 81 youth with CP, Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) Levels I to III, and 30 age- and sex-matched TD youths were recruited. Mean (SD) age of participants was 11y 10mo (1y 2mo); 52% were male; 79% were Caucasian; and 36% of guardians attended some vocational school or college.

Method: Participants completed the Activity Scale for Kids (ASKp38) for PA and the Child Health Questionnaire Child Form (CHQ-CF87) for HS. A global single question of `How do you feel about your life today?’ scored on a 7-point Likert scale sampled how the participant was feeling about their life that day (Current Day Outlook; CDO).

Results: CDO was positively associated with HS issues related to role/social behavioural bodily pain, family activities and cohesion, behavior, and mental health (range 0.19-0.46), with mental health the largest. Self-reported PA (ASKp38) was positively associated with the dimensions role/social behavioral, role/social physical, family activities, physical functioning, self-esteem, and mental health. The strongest association was with the CHQ-CF87 subscale of physical function; as compared with the TD group, youth in GMFCS Level I were significantly lower for role/social physical (r=-0.24), general health (r=-0.21), and self-esteem (r=-0.19). Youth in GMFCS Level II were only lower in general health (r=-0.27, p<0.01). No significant difference for youth at Level III was documented.

Conclusions: PA appears positively associated with behavior and physical activity in role/social situations, and family activities as well as the overall physical function dimensions. Despite the greatest walking limitation, youth at GMFCS Level III were not associated with Lower HS as compared with TD youth. PA for youth closer in walking skill to the TD youth report negative influences on their participation in day-to-day life as well as general health.

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