||Dodd, K. J., Taylor, N. F., Damiano, D. L. (2002). A systematic review of the effectiveness of strength-training programs for people with
cerebral palsy. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 83, 1157-1164.
||Background: Many people with cerebral palsy (CP) experience mobility difficulties when walking, using wheelchairs, or navigating on uneven pavement. Improving these functional activities is often the primary goal of therapies for people with CP. Medical practitioners and physical therapists need quality information on the effectiveness of available therapies to make clinical decisions.
Objectives: To investigate the effectiveness of strength training for people with CP.
Search strategy: The authors searched electronic databases (e.g., MEDLINE, PubMed, CINAHL, Sports Discus, DARE, PsychInfo, ERIC, Ausport- Med, AMI, Cochrane, PEDro ) for available studies on this topic. Reference lists for the identified articles were also searched. The keywords used to conduct the electronic searches included cerebral palsy in combination with exercise, strength, and physical training.
Selection criteria: Studies were included in the review that 1) included adults or children with CP; 2) involved strength training or a progressive resistance exercise program as an intervention; and 3) measured outcomes (e.g., change in strength, activity level, or participation).
Data collection and analysis: Two authors rated each study for methodological rigor using the PEDro scale. Articles were also assessed for quality using the National Health Service CRD form. Data were extracted about the impairment, intervention, and other contextual factors. The authors summarized the data from the studies and calculated the effective sizes with 95% confidence intervals.
Main results: Of 23 studies that met the inclusion criteria, 10 empirical studies and one review article were included in the review. Participants in eight of the 10 studies showed significant strength increases after strength training. Two studies that measured muscle spasticity indicated no change or a reduction in participants’ spasticity after the strength training. Four studies measured range of motion (ROM). None reported adverse effects on ROM for participants in strength training. Four studies measured the effects of strength training on activity restriction and reported no adverse effects.
Conclusions: The findings suggest that strength training programs have a positive effect on muscle strength in people with CP. However, more randomized controlled trials are needed to definitely determine the effects of strength training for people with CP.