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Department of Rehabilitation Medicine

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Systematic review of the clinimetric properties of laboratory- and field-based aerobic and anaerobic fitness measures in children with cerebral palsy


Balemans AC, Fragala-Pinkham MA, Lennon N, Thorpe D, Boyd RN, O'Neil ME, Bjornson K, Becher JG, Dallmeijer AJ



Publication Info:

Archives of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, 94(2):287-301


OBJECTIVE: To systematically evaluate the level of evidence of the clinimetric properties of measures of aerobic and anaerobic capacity used for children with cerebral palsy (CP).
DATA SOURCES: A systematic search of databases PubMed, Embase, SPORTDiscus, and PsycINFO through April 2011 was performed.
STUDY SELECTION: Two independent raters identified and examined studies that reported laboratory- or field-based measures of maximal aerobic or anaerobic capacity in children with CP aged 5 to 14 years.
DATA EXTRACTION: The Consensus-based Standards for the selection of health status Measurement Instruments (COSMIN) checklist was used by 2 independent raters to evaluate the methodologic quality of the included clinimetric studies and to identify measures used in these studies.
DATA SYNTHESIS: Twenty-four studies that used a maximal aerobic or anaerobic capacity measure were identified. Five studies reported clinimetric properties for 5 measures (2 aerobic and 3 anaerobic measures). Methodologic quality was excellent in 3 studies, showing good validity and reliability of field-based aerobic (Shuttle Run Test) and anaerobic (Muscle Power Sprint Test) measures. The studies on laboratory-based measures were rated fair, mainly because of inadequate statistics. The level of evidence was strong for good validity and reliability of the field-based tests. The level of evidence was unknown for validity and low to moderate for good reliability of laboratory-based tests.
CONCLUSIONS: There is a paucity of research on the clinimetric properties of measurement instruments to assess aerobic and anaerobic capacity for children with CP. Further clinimetric studies of laboratory-based measures in children with CP at all Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) levels, and clinimetric studies of field-based measures in children who are classified as GMFCS levels III to V are required.

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