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Revista Paulista de Pediatria

Print version ISSN 0103-0582


SCHLITTLER, Diana Xavier C.; LOPES, Talita Fernandes; RANIERO, Elaine Pereira  and  BARELA, José Angelo. Treadmill training effects on walking acquisition and motor development in infants at risk of developmental delay. Rev. paul. pediatr. [online]. 2011, vol.29, n.1, pp.91-99. ISSN 0103-0582.

OBJECTIVE: To examine the effect of motorized treadmill intervention on independent walking acquisition and other motor milestones in infants at risk of developmental delay. METHODS: Experimental study with 15 infants, observed since the 5th month of age: five infants at risk of developmental delay submitted to both physiotherapy sessions and intervention in motorized treadmill (Experimental Group); five infants at risk of developmental delay submitted to physiotherapy sessions only (Risk Control Group); and five infants without risks of developmental delay (Typical Control Group). Physiotherapy sessions occurred twice a week, followed by motorized treadmill intervention for the Experimental Group. Motorized treadmill intervention began when infants acquired cephalic control and was interrupted by independent walking or at 14 months post-conceptual age. All babies were monthly assessed with Alberta Infant Motor Scale and the Experimental Group was filmed during the exercise on the motorized treadmill. Comparisons among groups and months were performed using analysis of variance (ANOVA) and multivariance (MANOVA). RESULTS: Experimental Group infants acquired independent walking at 12.8 months and the Risk Control Group infants at 13.8 months of corrected age, which was delayed compared to the Typical Control Group (1.1 months; p<0.05). Experimental Group of infants showed alternated walking steps on the treadmill, which increased during the intervention period (p<0,05). They also improved their global motor development compared to Risk Control Group of infants. CONCLUSIONS: Motorized treadmill intervention facilitates independent walking acquisition and improves global motor development of infants at risk of developmental delay.

Keywords : child development; motor activity; developmental disabilities.

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