Promotion of physical fitness and prevention of secondary conditions for children with cerebral palsy: Section on pediatrics research summit proceedings

Eileen G. Fowler, Thubi H.A. Kolobe, Diane L. Damiano, Deborah E. Thorpe, Don W. Morgan, Janice E. Brunstrom, Wendy J. Coster, Richard C. Henderson, Kenneth H. Pitetti, James H. Rimmer, Jessica Rose, Richard D. Stevenson, Kristie Bjornson, Barbara H. Connolly, Rebecca L. Craik, Robert A. Eskew, E. G. Fowler, Maria A. Fragala-Pinkham, Kathleen Ganley, Allan M. GlanzmanMurray Goldstein, Ellen Harrington-Kane, Susan R. Harris, Karen M. Kott, Samuel C.K. Lee, Nancy Lennon, Diane E. Nicholson, Ralph M. Nitkin, Margaret E. O'Neil, Kathleen Schlough, Beth L. Tieman, Carole A. Tucker, Kimberly A. Wesdock, Nancy T. White, David G. Embrey, Irene McEwen, Amy Gross McMillan, Joanne Valvano

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

214 Scopus citations


Inadequate physical fitness is a major problem affecting the function and health of children with cerebral palsy (CP). Lack of optimal physical activity may contribute to the development of secondary conditions associated with CP such as chronic pain, fatigue, and osteoporosis. The purpose of this article is to highlight the content and recommendations of a Pediatrics Research Summit developed to foster collaborative research in this area. Two components of physical fitness - muscle strength and cardiorespiratory fitness - were emphasized. Although there is evidence to support the use of physical fitness interventions, there are many gaps in our current knowledge. Additional research of higher quality and rigor is needed in order to make definitive recommendations regarding the mode, intensity, frequency, and duration of exercise. Outcome measurements have focused on the body functions and structures level of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF), and much less is known about effects at the activities and participation levels. Additionally, the influence of nutritional and growth factors on physical fitness has not been studied in this population, in which poor growth and skeletal fragility have been identified as serious health issues. Current intervention protocols and outcome measurements were critically evaluated, and recommendations were made for future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1495-1510
Number of pages16
JournalPhysical therapy
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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