Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
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Associations between gait kinematics, gross motor function and physical activity among young people with cerebral palsy: a cross sectional study

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journal contribution
posted on 2022-09-30, 14:00 authored by Jennifer RyanJennifer Ryan, Grace Lavelle, Marika Noorkoiv, Damien Kiernan, Nicola Theis, Úna Little, Adam Shortland, Ailish MaloneAilish Malone

INTRODUCTION:The aim of this study was to investigate the association between gait parameters, gross motor function and physical activity (PA) in young people with cerebral palsy (CP). 

METHODS: Thirty-eight adolescents aged between 10–19 years with spastic CP in GMFCS levels I-III (mean [standard deviation] age 13.7 [2.4] yr; 53% female) were included in this cross-sectional study. Hip, knee and ankle joint excursion and stance time was assessed using 3D gait analysis. Self-selected walking speed was assessed during a timed 10 m overground walk and treadmill walking. Gross motor function was assessed using dimensions D and E of the Gross Motor Function Measure (GMFM-66). Moderate-to-vigorous PA, light PA and step-count were assessed using an accelerometer. Linear regression was used to examine associations. 

RESULTS:After adjusting for age, sex and GMFCS level, percentage stance time was associated with dimension E of the GMFM-66 (β= –0.29, 95%CI –0.54 to –0.05). There was no evidence that any other gait parameters were associated with GMFM-66 dimensions D or E. There was also no evidence that gait parameters or GMFM-66 dimensions D or E were associated with step-count or time in PA after adjusting for age, sex and GMFCS level. 

DISCUSSION: The findings provide an insight into the complexity of the relationship between gait quality or ability at the impairment level, function as measured in a controlled environment, and the performance of habitual PA, which is essential for health among children with CP.


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The original article is available at

Published Citation

Ryan JM. et al. Associations between gait kinematics, gross motor function and physical activity among young people with cerebral palsy: A cross sectional study. Physiother Pract Res. 2022:43(1):71–80.

Publication Date

18 June 2022


  • Public Health and Epidemiology
  • School of Physiotherapy

Research Area

  • Neurological and Psychiatric Disorders
  • Population Health and Health Services


IOS Press


  • Accepted Version (Postprint)