Adaptive seating supports for cerebral palsy are recommended to develop and maintain optimum posture, and functional use of upper extremities.
To compare the effectiveness of different seating adaptations regarding postural alignment and related functions and to investigate the effects of these seating adaptations on different motor levels.
A total of 20 children with spastic cerebral palsy (Gross Motor Function Classification System 3-5) were included. Postural control and function (Seated Postural Control Measure, Sitting Assessment Scale) were measured in three different systems: standard chair, adjustable seating system and custom-made orthosis.
In results of all participants ungrouped, there was a significant difference in most parameters of both measurement tools in favor of custom-made orthosis and adjustable seating system when compared to standard chair ( p < 0.0017). There was a difference among interventions in most of the Seated Postural Control Measure results in Level 4 when subjects were grouped according to Gross Motor Function Classification System levels. A difference was observed between standard chair and adjustable seating system in foot control, arm control, and total Sitting Assessment Scale scores; and between standard chair and custom-made orthosis in trunk control, arm control, and total Sitting Assessment Scale score in Level 4. There was no difference in adjustable seating system and custom-made orthosis in Sitting Assessment Scale in this group of children ( p < 0.017).
Although custom-made orthosis fabrication is time consuming, it is still recommended since it is custom made, easy to use, and low-cost. On the other hand, the adjustable seating system can be modified according to a patient's height and weight. Clinical relevance It was found that Gross Motor Function Classification System Level 4 children benefitted most from the seating support systems. It was presented that standard chair is sufficient in providing postural alignment. Both custom-made orthosis and adjustable seating system have pros and cons and the best solution for each will be dependent on a number of factors.