Motor-learning based activities may improve functional ability in adults with severe cerebral palsy: A controlled pilot study
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Original versionHüche Larsen, Helle et al. ‘Motor-learning Based Activities May Improve Functional Ability in Adults with Severe Cerebral Palsy: A Controlled Pilot Study’. 1 Jan. 2021 : 273 – 283. https://doi.org/10.3233/nre-201581
BACKGROUND: Cerebral palsy (CP) is a neurodevelopmental disturbance characterized by impaired control of movement. Function often decreases and 15% of adults are classified as severely affected (Gross Motor Function Classification Scale III-V). Little is known about interventions that aim to improve functional abilities in this population. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate a 12-week intervention based on motor learning principles on functional ability in adults with severe CP. METHODS: 16 adults (36±10 years, GMFCS III-V) were enrolled and divided into an intervention group (Active group) and a standard care group (Control group). Primary outcome measure was Gross Motor Function Measure (GMFM-88). Secondary measures were neurological status. The Active group were measured at baseline, after the intervention and at one-month follow-up. The Control group were measured at baseline and after one month. RESULTS: Analysis showed statistically significant improvement in GMFM-88 for the Active group from baseline to post assessment compared with the Control group (group difference: 5 points, SE 14.5, p = 0.008, CI: 1.2 to 8.7). Improvements were maintained at follow-up. Results from the neurological screening showed no clear tendencies. CONCLUSIONS: The study provides support that activities based on motor learning principles may improve gross motor function in adults with severe CP.