Aim. To evaluate the effects of aquatic (AQ) compared to a land-based (LB) intervention programs on metabolic cost of walking(MCW), gross motor function and locomotor performance in children with cerebral palsy (CP).
Methods. Eleven children withspastic diplegic CP completed this study, six in the AQ (5.2 ± 1.45 yrs) and five in the LB group (4.1 ± 1.33 yrs).MCWderived fromOxygen uptake (VO2) measured with a Cosmed K4 device and walking speed at steady state. Additional measures included the10-m test, Gross Motor Function Measure (GMFM), and Pediatric Evaluation Developmental Inventory (PEDI). Non-parametricstatistics were used to analyze change in each group.
Results. The AQ group significantly decreased MCW (Z = −2.2; P < .05)and increased steady state walking speed (Z = −2.2; P < .05). Both groups significantly increased 10-m walking speed (Z = −2.2;P < .03, and Z = −2.02; P < .05, resp.). The LB group exhibited moderate to large effect sizes in 10-m self-selected and fastwalking speeds (Cohen’s d = 1.07 and 0.73, resp.).
Conclusion. Our findings suggest that Both AQ and LB programs were effectivein improving 10-m speed, while the AQ training also improved theMCWof walking at steady state in children with spastic diplegicCP.