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 - 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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