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Seated postural control in typically developing children and in children with traumatic brain injury Ott, Beth Margaret

Abstract

Purpose: Seated postural control is important for children with and without disabilities and is a requirement for many occupational, functional, and recreational activities. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the most frequent diagnosis of all traumatic injuries reported in children and often results in multiple limitations in function, however, there have been no studies on the seated postural control in these children. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the (1) seated postural control of typically developing children, including the test-retest reliability of these measures, and (2) seated postural control of children with severe TBI during re-acquisition of independent sitting. Methods: Ten typically developing children were assessed on two separate occasions and two children with TBI (6 and 15 year old males) were assessed longitudinally. For all tests, children sat on a force plate on top of a raised bench which could be translated forward or backward. Surface EMG electrodes recorded bilateral trunk and leg muscle activity. The static, volitional, and reactive postural control of the children was assessed during quiet sitting, self-paced maximal leans, and platform translations, respectively. Intraclass correlation coefficients were used to determine the test-retest reliability of the postural control in typically developing children. Correlations were calculated to determine the effects of age on the postural control of typically developing children. Analysis of the postural control data in the children with TBI was descriptive. Results: There was moderate to high test-retest reliability for all measures of postural control in the typically developing children. A statistically significant correlation was found between age and the static postural measure in the typically developing children. Initially, the postural control of the children with TBI differed considerably from that of the typically developing children. Over time, the postural control of the children with TBI improved but still differed from that of the typically developing children. Conclusions: Measures of seated postural control of typically developing children were reliable. The effects of age on these measures are dependent on the type of postural control. The recovery of seated postural control in children with TBI occurs in all three types of postural control concurrently.

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