The aim of this investigation was to determine if body-weight-supported (BWS) overground gait training has the potential to improve the walking abilities of children and youth with childhood onset motor impairments and intellectual disabilities. Eight participants (mean age of 16.3 years) completed 12 weeks of BWS overground gait training that was performed two times a week. BWS was provided during the training sessions by an overhead harness system that rolls overground. There was a significant improvement in the preferred walking speed after the training (p < .01; pre = 0.51 ± 0.2 m/s; post = 0.67 ± 0.3 m/s; Cohen's d = 0.80) and cadence (p = .04; pre = 37 ± 7 steps/min; post = 43 ± 8 steps/min; Cohen's d = 0.94). Our results indicate that overground BWS gait training may be an effective treatment strategy for improving the preferred walking speed of children and youth with motor impairments.
- Cerebral palsy
- Gait training
- Physical therapy
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
- Occupational Therapy