Promotion of physical fitness and prevention of secondary conditions for children with cerebral palsy: Section on pediatrics research summit proceedings


Eileen G. Fowler, University of California, Los Angeles
Eileen G. Fowler, University of California, Los Angeles
Thubi H.A. Kolobe, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center
Diane L. Damiano, Washington University in St. Louis
Deborah E. Thorpe, UNC School of Medicine
Don W. Morgan, Middle Tennessee State University
Janice E. Brunstrom, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis
Wendy J. Coster, Boston University
Richard C. Henderson, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Kenneth H. Pitetti, Wichita State University
James H. Rimmer, University of Illinois at Chicago
Jessica Rose, Stanford University School of Medicine
Richard D. Stevenson, University of Virginia School of Medicine
Kristie Bjornson, Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center
Barbara H. Connolly, University of Tennessee Health Science Center
Rebecca L. Craik, Arcadia University
Robert A. Eskew, Mercy Health Center
Maria A. Fragala-Pinkham, Franciscan Hospital for Children
Kathleen Ganley, Arizona State University
Allan M. Glanzman, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Murray Goldstein, United Cerebral Palsy Research and Educational Foundation
Ellen Harrington-Kane, Easter Seals
Susan R. Harris, The University of British Columbia
Karen M. Kott, Hampton University
Samuel C.K. Lee, Shriners Hospitals for Children
Nancy Lennon, Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children
Diane E. Nicholson, The University of Utah
Ralph M. Nitkin, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
Margaret E. O'Neil, Drexel University
Kathleen Schlough, Ithaca College
Beth L. Tieman, Georgia State University
Carole A. Tucker, Shriners Hospitals for Children Philadelphia
Kimberly A. Wesdock, VCU School of Medicine

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Inadequate physical fitness is a major problem affecting the function and health of children with cerebral palsy (CP). Lack of optimal physical activity may contribute to the development of secondary conditions associated with CP such as chronic pain, fatigue, and osteoporosis. The purpose of this article is to highlight the content and recommendations of a Pediatrics Research Summit developed to foster collaborative research in this area. Two components of physical fitness - muscle strength and cardiorespiratory fitness - were emphasized. Although there is evidence to support the use of physical fitness interventions, there are many gaps in our current knowledge. Additional research of higher quality and rigor is needed in order to make definitive recommendations regarding the mode, intensity, frequency, and duration of exercise. Outcome measurements have focused on the body functions and structures level of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF), and much less is known about effects at the activities and participation levels. Additionally, the influence of nutritional and growth factors on physical fitness has not been studied in this population, in which poor growth and skeletal fragility have been identified as serious health issues. Current intervention protocols and outcome measurements were critically evaluated, and recommendations were made for future research. © 2007 American Physical Therapy Association.

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Physical Therapy

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