Effects of positioning on respiratory measures in individuals with cerebral palsy and severe scoliosis

Littleton, S.R.; Heriza, C.B.; Mullens, P.A.; Moerchen, V.A.; Bjornson, K.

Pediatric Physical Therapy the Official Publication of the Section on Pediatrics of the American Physical Therapy Association 23(2): 159-169


ISSN/ISBN: 1538-005X
PMID: 21552079
DOI: 10.1097/pep.0b013e318218e306
Accession: 052881045

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To examine the effect of positioning on respiratory measurements in individuals with cerebral palsy and severe scoliosis. Five individuals aged 17 to 37 years participated in an alternating treatment, single-subject design. Oxygen saturation, respiratory rate, heart rate, and chest wall excursion measurements were obtained in supine, sitting, and sidelying positions. Level of support for hypotheses varied on the basis of the respiratory measurement and participants' status. Respiratory rate appeared to be most sensitive to change in the positions. Severity of respiratory compromise and age may be associated with less tolerance for supine position versus sitting and sidelying positions. The use of therapeutic positioning in sitting and sidelying positions should be considered as a noninvasive intervention for a population with respiratory compromise. Further research with a larger sample is needed to empirically link specific positions with improved respiratory efficiency.