Affiliations: [a] Department of Public Health and Epidemiology, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI), Dublin, Ireland
| [b] College of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Brunel University London, London, United Kingdom
| [c] Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College London, London, United Kingdom
| [d] Central Remedial Clinic, Dublin, Ireland
| [e] School of Sport and Exercise, University of Gloucestershire, Gloucester, United Kingdom
| [f] One Small Step Gait Laboratory, Guy’s Hospital, London, United Kingdom
| [g] School of Physiotherapy, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI), Dublin, Ireland
Corresponding author: Jennifer M. Ryan, Department of Public Health and Epidemiology, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI), Beaux Lane House, Lower Mercer Street, Dublin D02DH60, Ireland. Tel.: +35314022413; E-mail: [email protected] ORCID: 0000-0003-3768-2132.
Abstract: INTRODUCTION:The aim of this study was to investigate the association between gait parameters, gross motor function and physical activity (PA) in young people with cerebral palsy (CP). METHODS:Thirty-eight adolescents aged between 10–19 years with spastic CP in GMFCS levels I-III (mean [standard deviation] age 13.7 [2.4] yr; 53%female) were included in this cross-sectional study. Hip, knee and ankle joint excursion and stance time was assessed using 3D gait analysis. Self-selected walking speed was assessed during a timed 10 m overground walk and treadmill walking. Gross motor function was assessed using dimensions D and E of the Gross Motor Function Measure (GMFM-66). Moderate-to-vigorous PA, light PA and step-count were assessed using an accelerometer. Linear regression was used to examine associations. RESULTS:After adjusting for age, sex and GMFCS level, percentage stance time was associated with dimension E of the GMFM-66 (β= –0.29, 95%CI –0.54 to –0.05). There was no evidence that any other gait parameters were associated with GMFM-66 dimensions D or E. There was also no evidence that gait parameters or GMFM-66 dimensions D or E were associated with step-count or time in PA after adjusting for age, sex and GMFCS level. DISCUSSION:The findings provide an insight into the complexity of the relationship between gait quality or ability at the impairment level, function as measured in a controlled environment, and the performance of habitual PA, which is essential for health among children with CP.