Reproducibility of two functional field exercise tests for children with cerebral palsy who self-propel a manual wheelchair

Authors

  • Olaf Verschuren,

    Corresponding author
    1. Partner of NetChild, Network for Childhood Disability Research, Utrecht, The Netherlands
    • Rudolf Magnus Institute of Neuroscience and Center of Excellence for Rehabilitation Medicine, University Medical Center Utrecht and Rehabilitation Center De Hoogstraat, Utrecht, The Netherlands
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  • Marjolijn Ketelaar,

    1. Rudolf Magnus Institute of Neuroscience and Center of Excellence for Rehabilitation Medicine, University Medical Center Utrecht and Rehabilitation Center De Hoogstraat, Utrecht, The Netherlands
    2. Partner of NetChild, Network for Childhood Disability Research, Utrecht, The Netherlands
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  • Janke De Groot,

    1. Research Center Lifestyle and Health, Hogeschool Utrecht University of Applied Sciences, Utrecht, the Netherlands
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  • FÁbio Vila Nova,

    1. SARAH Network of Rehabilitation Hospitals, Macapá, Brazil
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  • Tim Takken

    1. Child Development and Exercise Center, Wilhelmina Children's Hospital, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, the Netherlands
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Correspondence to Dr Olaf Verschuren, Rehabilitation Centre De Hoogstraat, Rembrandtkade 10, 3583 TM Utrecht, the Netherlands.

E-mail: o.verschuren@dehoogstraat.nl

Abstract

Aim

The aim of this study was to examine the test–retest reproducibility (reliability and agreement) of the 6-minute push test (6MPT) and the one-stroke push test (1SPT), and construct validity of the 6MPT in children with cerebral palsy (CP) who self-propel a manual wheelchair.

Method

Seventy-three children and adolescents with spastic CP (51 males, 22 females; mean age 11y 9mo, SD 3y 7mo, range 4–18y; three unilateral, 70 bilateral) using a manual wheelchair for at least part of the day were recruited from and tested in different rehabilitation settings in the Netherlands and Brazil. Participants were classified as Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) level II (n=7), III (n=36), or IV (n=30).

Results

Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) for distance covered on the 6MPT (mean distance 266.5m, SD 120.6m) and the 1SPT (mean distance 4.5m, SD 2.7m) showed excellent reliability (ICC=0.97) for both tests. There was a significant correlation between the 6MPT and the 1SPT (r=0.73; p<0.001), and between the 6MPT and heart rate during the 6MPT (r=0.29, p=0.014).

Interpretation

These results indicate that both the 6MPT and the 1SPT test are reproducible functional tests for young people with CP who self-propel a wheelchair. Agreement for the 6MPT seems relatively large for children who perform short distances. Construct validity is supported for the 6MPT in children with CP.

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