Locomotor Tests Predict Community Mobility in Children and Youth With Cerebral Palsy

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Chantale Ferland Quebec Rehabilitation Institute and Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Rehabilitation and Social Integration

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Hélène Moffet Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Rehabilitation and Social Integration and Laval University, Canada

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Désirée B. Maltais Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Rehabilitation and Social Integration and Laval University, Canada

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Ambulatory children and youth with cerebral palsy have limitations in locomotor capacities and in community mobility. The ability of three locomotor tests to predict community mobility in this population (N = 49, 27 boys, 6–16 years old) was examined. The tests were a level ground walking test, the 6-min-Walk-Test (6MWT), and two tests of advanced locomotor capacities, the 10-meter-Shuttle-Run-Test (10mSRT) and the Timed-Up-and-Down-Stairs-Test (TUDS). Community mobility was measured with the Assessment of Life Habits mobility category. After age and height were controlled, regression analysis identified 10mSRT and TUDS values as significant predictors of community mobility. They explained about 40% of the variance in the Life Habits mobility category scores. The 10mSRT was the strongest predictor (standardized Beta coefficient = 0.48, p = 0.002). The 6MWT was not a significant predictor. Thus, advanced locomotor capacity tests may be better predictors of community mobility in this population than level ground walking tests.

Chantale Ferland is with the Quebec Rehabilitation Institute and the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Rehabilitation and Social Integration, Quebec City, Canada. Hélène Moffet and Désirée B. Maltais are with the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Rehabilitation and Social Integration and the Department of Rehabilitation, Laval University, Quebec City, Canada.

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