Gait stability in children with Cerebral Palsy

Sjoerd M Bruijn, Matthew Millard, Leen van Gestel, Pieter Meyns, Ilse Jonkers, Kaat Desloovere

    Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


    Children with unilateral Cerebral Palsy (CP) have several gait impairments, amongst which impaired gait stability may be one. We tested whether a newly developed stability measure (the foot placement estimator, FPE) which does not require long data series, can be used to asses gait stability in typically developing (TD) children as well as children with CP. In doing so, we tested the FPE's sensitivity to the assumptions needed to calculate this measure, as well as the ability of the FPE to detect differences in stability between children with CP and TD children, and differences in walking speed. Participants were asked to walk at two different speeds, while gait kinematics were recorded. From these data, the FPE, as well as the error that violations of assumptions of the FPE could have caused were calculated. The results showed that children with CP walked with marked instabilities in anterior-posterior and mediolateral directions. Furthermore, errors caused by violations of assumptions in calculation of FPE were only small (≈ 1.5 cm), while effects of walking speed (≈ 20 cm per m/s increase in walking speed) and group (≈ 5 cm) were much larger. These results suggest that the FPE may be used to quantify gait stability in TD children and children with CP.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1689-99
    Number of pages11
    JournalResearch in Developmental Disabilities
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - May 2013


    • Biomechanical Phenomena
    • Cerebral Palsy
    • Child
    • Child Development
    • Child, Preschool
    • Female
    • Foot
    • Gait
    • Gait Disorders, Neurologic
    • Humans
    • Leg
    • Male
    • Models, Biological
    • Walking
    • Journal Article
    • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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