A research study comparing the body functions and structures, activity and participation levels, and environmental factors to AFO-wearing time in children with spastic cerebral palsy (CP) found that prolonged AFO-wearing time was negatively correlated with activity-participation level and parental satisfaction.
Eighty children with spastic CP (Gross Motor Function Classification System I–III; mean age 7.3 ± 3.9 years) were divided into two groups with equal ages and duration of AFO usage, which was provided as a part of routine clinical care. The groups were made up of participants whose AFO use was six to 12 hours per day (n = 40) and 12 to 24 hours per day (n = 40).
The outcomes measured were the calf muscle’s spasticity (modified Ashworth Scale (MAS)), passive ankle dorsiflexion angle (DA), 66-item Gross Motor Function Measurement, Pediatric Berg Balance Scale, and Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory (PedsQL). Parental satisfaction was measured with a visual analog scale.
The researchers found no significant differences for the Pediatric Berg Balance Scale, MAS, and DA between the groups. Significant differences for the PedsQL (76.99 vs. 57.63), daily living activities (65.30 vs. 35.92), fatigue (76.9 vs. 56.85), and satisfaction (8.08 vs. 5.21) were found between the groups. The six-to-12-hour group had superiority for each outcome. Wearing time was significantly correlated with PedsQL and satisfaction, but not with MAS or DA.
AFO-wearing time seemed to depend on the child’s activity and participation levels rather than body functions and structures, according to the study.
The study, “Comparison of body structure, function, activity, and participation levels according to ankle foot orthosis wearing time in children with spastic cerebral palsy,” was published in Prosthetics and Orthotics International.