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Journal of Human Kinetics

The Journal of Academy of Physical Education in Katowice

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The Effect of Aquatic Intervention on the Gross Motor Function and Aquatic Skills in Children with Cerebral Palsy

Lidija Dimitrijević
  • Faculty of Medicine, Deptartment of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Niš, Niš, Serbia
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/ Marko Aleksandrović
  • Faculty of Sport and Physical Education, Deptartment of Aquatic Sports, University of Niš, Niš, Serbia
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/ Dejan Madić
  • Faculty of Sport and Physical Education, Deptartment of Aquatic Sports, University of Niš, Niš, Serbia
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/ Tomislav Okičić
  • Faculty of Sport and Physical Education, Deptartment of Aquatic Sports, University of Niš, Niš, Serbia
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/ Dragan Radovanović
  • Faculty of Sport and Physical Education, Deptartment of Aquatic Sports, University of Niš, Niš, Serbia
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/ Daniel Daly
  • Faculty of Sport and Physical Education, Deptartment of Biomedical Sciences, University of Niš, Niš, Serbia
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Published Online: 2012-05-30 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/v10078-012-0033-5

The Effect of Aquatic Intervention on the Gross Motor Function and Aquatic Skills in Children with Cerebral Palsy

The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of an aquatic intervention on the gross motor function and aquatic skills of children with cerebral palsy (CP). Twenty-nine children with CP, aged 5 to 14, were recruited. Fourteen children completed an aquatic intervention (EG), and 13 children served as controls (CG). Two participants dropped out due to events (illness) unrelated to the intervention. The aquatic intervention lasted 6 weeks (2 sessions per week at 55 minutes per session) with a follow-up period of 3 weeks. The outcome measures were the Gross Motor Function Measure (GMFM) for motor function and the Water Orientation Test Alyn 2 (WOTA 2) for aquatic skills assessment. A significant improvement was observed in the secondary assessment of GMFM and WOTA 2. In contrast to the aquatic skills improvement, the GMFM change was not maintained at follow-up. Our results indicate that children with CP can improve gross motor function on dry land and aquatic skills with a 6-week water intervention. The intervention period was too short for sustainable improvement in dry-land motor skills after intervention (followup), but time was sufficient to achieve sustainable improvements in aquatic skills.

Keywords: aquatherapy; experiment; follow up; pediatrics

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About the article


Published Online: 2012-05-30

Published in Print: 2012-05-01


Citation Information: Journal of Human Kinetics, ISSN (Online) 1899-7562, ISSN (Print) 1640-5544, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/v10078-012-0033-5.

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