Cardiovascular exercise responses in children with traumatic brain injuries
Montmarquette, Jennifer L.
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Minimal research has been completed to examine exercise and individuals with traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). This study examined children 11-17 years of age who have sustained a moderate to severe TBI within the last year to determine what level of cardiovascular exercise is safe for these children. Participants were current/former patients of a midwestem rehabilitation center. Two modified Balke maximal treadmill tests were performed to determine changes in heart rate, blood pressure, heart rhythms, body temperature, and functional capacity. Descriptive analysis has been provided for each subject. Treadmill data were analyzed using a dependent /-test, with an alpha level of .05, which determined that no statistically significant differences were found between the means of the repeated treadmill tests (T1 and T2) for heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, and functional capacity. Each subject?s values were compared to previously reported maximal treadmill results of normal, healthy children of similar age, gender, and body surface area. Results showed for heart rate, systolic blood pressure, and diastolic blood pressure that 11.1% (4 of the 36 scores) of the physiological variables of the children with TBIs were clinically different from the previously reported results of the normal, healthy population. Although there were some clinical significant responses in comparison to the normal, healthy population, there was no need to stop testing based on any hemodynamic abnormalities. Even though this response was different in comparison to the normal, healthy population, results showed that it was safe for this population of participants to engage in cardiovascular exercise in the form of treadmill walking.