Benefits and Enjoyment of a Swimming Intervention for Youths With Cerebral Palsy: An RCT Study
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Pediatr Phys Ther. 2016 Summer;28(2):162-9. doi: 10.1097/PEP.0000000000000235.
Benefits and Enjoyment of a Swimming Intervention for Youth With Cerebral Palsy: An RCT Study.
Declerck M1, Verheul M, Daly D, Sanders R.
- 1Institute of Sport, Physical Education and Health Sciences (Drs Declerck and Verheul), University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom; Faculty of Kinesiology and Rehabilitation Sciences (Dr Daly), KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium; Faculty of Health Sciences (Dr Sanders), The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia.
To investigate enjoyment and specific benefits of a swimming intervention for youth with cerebral palsy (CP).
Fourteen youths with CP (aged 7 to 17 years, Gross Motor Function Classification System levels I to III) were randomly assigned to control and swimming groups. Walking ability, swimming skills, fatigue, and pain were assessed at baseline, after a 10-week swimming intervention (2/week, 40-50 minutes) or control period, after a 5-week follow-up and, for the intervention group, after a 20-week follow-up period. The level of enjoyment of each swim-session was assessed.
Levels of enjoyment were high. Walking and swimming skills improved significantly more in the swimming than in the control group (P = .043; P = .002, respectively), whereas fatigue and pain did not increase. After 20 weeks, gains in walking and swimming skills were retained (P = .017; P = .016, respectively).
We recommend a swimming program for youths with CP to complement a physical therapy program.
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Observation contributed by: John Bryant