Therapeutic Interventions for Cerebral Palsy

Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology published research on therapeutic interventions for cerebral palsy. The goal was to provide recommendations to improve physical function for children and young people with cerebral palsy.


An expert panel used various methods to assess the evidence and made recommendations. The recommendations compiled in the guidelines were based on three systematic reviews, 30 randomized trials, and five before-after studies.

Guidelines for Therapeutic Interventions for Cerebral Palsy

The expert panel recommend the following interventions to achieve functional goals:

  • client-chosen goals.
  • whole-task practice within real-life settings.
  • support to empower families.
  • a team approach.
  • consider age, ability, and child/family preferences.

Specific skills were also addressed and recommendations were made. For example, to improve walking ability, overground walking is recommended which can also be supplemented with treadmill training.

Various approaches can facilitate hand use goals such as:

For self-care, the recommendations for therapeutic interventions for cerebral palsy included whole-task practice combined with assistive devices to increase independence and reduce caregiver burden. Participation in leisure goals should be a combination of whole-task practice with strategies to address environmental, personal, and social barriers.


The researchers recommended that intervention to improve function for children and young people with cerebral palsy need to include client-chosen goals and whole-task practice of goals. Remember to consider child/family preferences, age, and ability when selecting specific interventions.


Jackman, M., Sakzewski, L., Morgan, C., Boyd, R. N., Brennan, S. E., Langdon, K., … & Novak, I. (2021). Interventions to improve physical function for children and young people with cerebral palsy: international clinical practice guideline. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology.

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