Estimating energy expenditure for different assistive devices in the school setting

Kim Lephart, Carolyn Utsey, Dana L. Wild, Steve R. Fisher

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    2 Scopus citations


    Purpose: This case report describes a simple means of estimating energy costs for a child with cerebral palsy using different assistive devices within a school setting. Key points: A 9-year-old boy, Gross Motor Function Classification Scale level III, was assessed over 8 ambulation trials using a posterior walker and using forearm crutches. Each trial was followed by a fine motor accuracy task. An energy expenditure index (EEI) was calculated for each device. For the posterior walker, EEI was 47% higher overall compared with forearm crutches. Fine motor accuracy and task completion time were similar for both devices. Conclusion: EEI was a straightforward method of estimating the energy costs of different assistive devices. Measurement procedures described in this case were time efficient in the field and provided a reasonable estimation of energy expenditure to help decide objectively which assistive device would best fit the needs of the student. Video Abstract: For more insights from the authors, see Supplemental Digital Content 1, available at PPT/A63.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)354-359
    Number of pages6
    JournalPediatric Physical Therapy
    Issue number3
    StatePublished - Jan 1 2014


    • Ambulation
    • Assistive devices
    • Case report
    • Cerebral palsy
    • Child
    • Energy expenditure

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
    • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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