EFFICACY OF AQUATIC THERAPY IN IMPROVING FUNCTIONAL OUTCOMES IN CHILDREN WITH CEREBRAL PALSY: A SYSTEMATIC REVIEW

Amy Tremback-Ball

Abstract


Purpose: This systematic review was conducted in order to determine if aquatic therapy is an effective intervention to improve treatment outcomes in children with cerebral palsy. Methods: CINAHL, Academic Search Premier, and Medline were searched for published research reports on the topic. Studies were included if they met the criteria of population (aged 0-21), diagnosis (any form of cerebral palsy), and intervention (aquatic therapy). Studies that met inclusion and exclusion criteria were analyzed using the PEDro scale and summarized in a matrix. Results: Fourteen studies were included. Data were reported for a variety of functional measures, strength, ROM, energy expenditure, vital capacity, spasticity, gait, balance, emotional health, behavior, quality of life, and swimming ability. Conclusion: The available evidence in this systematic review suggests that aquatic therapy is an effective intervention when used in conjunction with traditional physical therapy.


Keywords


physical therapy; pediatrics; exercise

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