The Effect of Frequency of Cerebral Palsy Treatment: A Matched-Pair Pilot Study

Chiara Gagliardi, Cristina Maghini, Chiara Germiniasi, Giuseppe Stefanoni, Francesca Molteni, D. Michael Burt, Anna C. Turconi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The feasibility and effectiveness of a year-long integrated rehabilitation program for young children (less than 6 years old) with cerebral palsy was evaluated, and efficacy of different treatment schedules was compared. A sample of 40 children (20 male; mean age, 3 years ±1.22) took part: 20 presented with tetraparesis, 12 with diparesis, and 8 with hemiparesis. Participants' motor abilities were classified according to the Gross Motor Function Measure classification system at baseline and after 1 year of treatment. For half of the participants, treatment consisted of continuous integrated intervention twice a week; for the other half, treatment was the 3i intervention (Intermittent, Intensive, Integrated), in which a month of intensive, twice-a-day treatment was followed by a continuous, twice-a-week phase, lasting 5 months. Overall, there was an improvement in gross motor function, with 37% of children improving and no children showing lowered function. Neither baseline general cognitive abilities nor age had a significant effect on the level of improvement, although initial gross motor function did. Children undergoing the intensive intermittent intervention showed the greatest motor function improvement. Results support the effectiveness of the integrated intervention and of periods of higher frequency intervention in young children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)335-340
Number of pages6
JournalPediatric Neurology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Neurology


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