Webpage feedback
Did you find this page helpful?
Yes No
Feedback Comments

Published January 2012

Download the full evidence summary PDF: WTE PT & OT


PLEASE NOTE: This summary was produced more than 4 years ago. Information provided may be out of date. If you think it would be helpful to update this summary please contact us at pencru@exeter.ac.uk

What Were We Asked?

We were asked whether different amounts of physiotherapy and occupational therapy result in different outcomes for children with neurodisability.


Key Findings:

  • Physiotherapy is a key element of the treatment offered to children with a physical disability.
  • The evidence regarding the effectiveness of different doses (duration or frequency) of physiotherapy is very limited.
  • From the evidence that exists it appears that the question 'how much and how often should physiotherapy be offered' cannot be answered without further research.


This information is produced by PenCRU researchers and reviewed by external experts. The views expressed are those of PenCRU at the University of Exeter Medical School and do not represent the views of the Cerebra charity, or any other parties mentioned. We strongly recommend seeking medical advice before undertaking any treatments/therapies.

1Bower E, Michell D, Burnett M, Campbell MJ, McLellan DL. Randomised controlled trial of physiotherapy in 56 children with cerebral palsy followed for 18 months. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology 2001, 43: 4-15

2Weindling AM, Cunningham CC, Glenn SM, Edwards RT, Reeves DJ. Additional therapy for young children with spastic cerebral palsy: a randomised controlled trial. Health Technology Assessment 2007, 11 (16)

3Christianson AS, Lange C. Intermittent versus continuous physiotherapy in children with cerebral palsy. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology 2008, 50: 290-293

4Morris C and Condie D (Eds). Recent Developments in Healthcare for Cerebral Palsy: Implications and Opportunities for Orthotics. International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics 2009

5National Institute for Health & Clinical Excellence (NICE) (2012) Spasticity in children and young people. [online] Available at http://guidance.nice.org.uk/CG145

6Arpino C, Vescio MF, De Luca A, Curatolo P. Efficacy of intensive versus nonintensive physiotherapy in children with cerebral palsy: a meta-analysis. International Journal of Rehabilitation Research 2010, 33, 2: 165-171