Overground body-weight-supported gait training for children and youth with neuromuscular impairments

Max J. Kurz, Wayne Stuberg, Stacey Dejong, David J. Arpin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)353-365
Number of pages13
JournalPhysical and Occupational Therapy in Pediatrics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2013


  • Cerebral palsy
  • Gait training
  • Locomotion
  • Physical therapy
  • Rehabilitation
  • Walking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation
  • Occupational Therapy


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