Purpose: The purpose of this study is to investigate how a pediatric harness system impacts participation levels of children with cerebral palsy in the Young Athletes (YA) program.
Subjects: Two preschool-aged children with cerebral palsy (CP) were selected from a local charter school. Participant one had a Gross Motor Function Measure (GMFM) level II while participant two was a level III.
Materials/Methods: Each subjects’ participation was compared in and out of a pediatric harness 3 times per week for 8 weeks. The YA curriculum involved basic play skills such as kicking, catching, balancing, and jumping. During each session, participation was rated based on the level of verbal or physical assistance needed to complete each activity.
Results: The participation percentage for each subject was calculated in versus out of the harness. Both subjects were able to participate in the YA program more independently when in the harness than when using their assistive device (86.4% out vs 89.2% in for participant 1 and 65.3% out vs 95.0% in for participant 2).
Conclusions: Incorporating a harness system when implementing the YA program may provide increased opportunity for participation in children with CP.
Clinical Relevance: For children with CP, participation in physical activity is a key factor in their quality of life and a frequent goal for physical therapy. Creating adaptive and inclusive opportunities can increase their participation in physical activities.
Giammalvo, Brittany; Hoyer, Emily; Nelson, Brittany; and Ezekiel-Wilder, Faith, "The Impact of a Harness on Participation Levels of Children with Motor Impairments in the Young Athletes Program" (2018). UCF DPT Research Capstone. 5.