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Minerva Pediatrics 2021 Oct 14

DOI: 10.23736/S2724-5276.21.05896-1

Copyright © 2021 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Effects of 12-week aquatic exercises on gross motor function, swimming skills and walking ability in children with cerebral palsy

Bojan JORGIĆ 1, Lidija DIMITRIJEVIĆ 2, Marko ALEKSANDROVIĆ 1, Marija BRATIĆ 3, Zoran MILANOVIĆ 1, 4, 5

1 Faculty of Sport and Physical Education, University of Niš, Niš, Serbia; 2 Faculty of Medicine, University of Niš, Niš, Serbia; 3 Faculty of Science and Mathematics, Department of Geography, University of Niš, Niš, Serbia; 4 Science and Research Centre Koper, Institute for Kinesiology Research, Koper, Slovenia; 5 Faculty of Sports Studies, Incubator of Kinanthropological Research, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic


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BACKGROUND: Cerebral palsy (CP) is the most common cause of physical disability in childhood defined as a group of permanent disorders of movement. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of 12-week aquatic exercise program on gross motor function, swimming skills, and walking ability in children with cerebral palsy.
METHODS: Eighteen children (Mean ± SD age: 12.3 ± 3 years) with cerebral palsy classified at Levels I, II and III on the Gross Motor Function Classification System were allocated to one group, where the first 12 weeks were a control period while another 12 weeks were an experimental period. The participants underwent the same battery of tests focusing gross motor function, swimming skills, and walking ability on three occasions.
RESULTS: Control period was stable with no significant changes in any of measurements. After the 12-week experimental program, a statistically significant improvement was determined in gross motor function (p=0.005), swimming skills (p=0.000), walking endurance and walking (p=0.000). No significant differences (p>0.05) were observed for walking efficiency.
CONCLUSIONS: The 12-week aquatic exercise program (3/week, 60 minutes), combining Halliwick method, swimming and walking activities may improve the gross motor function, swimming skills, walking endurance and velocity in ambulatory children with cerebral palsy.


KEY WORDS: Halliwick method; Aquatic; Walking; Exercise

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