SPORTS STARS: A practitioner-led, peer-group sports intervention for ambulant children with cerebral palsy. Activity and participation outcomes of a randomised controlled trial

Georgina L. Clutterbuck, Megan L. Auld, Leanne M. Johnston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Purpose: To investigate the effectiveness of a practitioner-led, peer-group sports intervention for children with CP at GMFCS Level I–II. Method: Children with CP (GMFCS I–II; 6–12 years) were randomised to Sports Stars or waitlist-control groups. Sports Stars included eight-weeks (eight hours) of physiotherapist-led, sports-specific gross motor activity training, sports education, teamwork development and confidence building. Sports participation was measured using self-identified participation goals (modified Canadian Occupational Performance Measure (mCOPM)). Physical competence was measured with mCOPM activity goals and high-level gross motor batteries (Test of Gross Motor Development (TGMD-2); GMFM-Challenge) and walking (Timed-Up-and-Go), running (Muscle Power Sprint Test; 10x5m Sprint Test), jumping (Standing Broad Jump; Vertical Jump) and throwing (Seated Throw) items. General participation and quality of life were also measured. Outcomes were measured pre, post and 12-weeks post-intervention. Data were analysed using linear mixed models. Results: Fifty-four children were randomised into Sports Stars (n = 29; GMFCS I = 7, II = 22; male = 19; 8.9 ± 2 years) or waitlist-control groups (n = 25; GMFCS I = 10, II = 15; male = 14; 8.6 ± 2 years). The Sports Stars group improved sports participation and activity goals (mCOPM F = 5.49–10.29, p < 0.001) and sports-specific physical competence (TGMD-2, F = 3.45–5.19, p = 0.001–0.009) compared to the waitlist-control. Conclusion:Sports Stars is effective for improving sports-specific participation and physical competence for children with CP.Implications for rehabilitationSports Stars improves performance and satisfaction in sports-specific participation and activity goals for ambulant children with CP. Sports Stars improves sports-specific physical activity competence in locomotor and object control skills. Sport-specific interventions should incorporate sport-specific gross motor activity training as well as sports education, confidence building and teamwork.
Original languageEnglish
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 30 Jun 2020

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