Background: Persons with cerebral palsy (CP) are at risk for developing an inactive lifestyle and often have poor fitness levels, which may lead to secondary health complications and diminished participation and quality of life. However, persons with CP also tend not to receive structural treatment to improve physical activity and fitness in adolescence, which is precisely the period when adult physical activity patterns are established.Methods: We aim to include 60 adolescents and young adults (16-24 years) with spastic CP. Participants will be randomly assigned to an intervention group or a control group (no treatment; current policy). The intervention will last 6 months and consist of three parts; 1) counselling on daily physical activity; 2) physical fitness training; and 3) sports advice. To evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention, all participants will be measured before, during, directly after, and at 6 months following the intervention period. Primary outcome measures will be: 1) physical activity level, which will be measured objectively with an accelerometry-based activity monitor during 72 h and subjectively with the Physical Activity Scale for Individuals with Physical Disabilities; 2) aerobic fitness, which will be measured with a maximal ramp test on a bicycle or armcrank ergometer and a 6-minute walking or wheelchair test; 3) neuromuscular fitness, which will be measured with handheld dynamometry; and 4 body composition, which will be determined by measuring body mass, height, waist circumference, fat mass and lipid profile.Conclusions: This paper outlines the design, methodology and intervention of a multicenter randomized controlled trial (LEARN 2 MOVE 16-24) aimed at examining the effectiveness of an intervention that is intended to permanently increase physical activity levels and improve fitness levels of adolescents and young adults with CP by achieving a behavioral change toward a more active lifestyle.Trial registration: Dutch Trial Register; NTR1785.

Additional Metadata
Keywords *Activities of Daily Living, *Motor Activity, *Physical Fitness, Adolescent, Cerebral Palsy/*therapy, Counseling/*methods, Exercise Therapy/*methods, Female, Follow-Up Studies, Humans, Male, Single-Blind Method, Time Factors, Treatment Outcome, Young Adult
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2431-10-79, hdl.handle.net/1765/24007
Citation
Slaman, J., Roebroeck, M.E., van Meeteren, J., van der Slot, W.M.A., Reinders-Messelink, H.A., Lindeman, E., … van den Berg-Emons, H.J.G.. (2010). Learn 2 Move 16-24: Effectiveness of an intervention to stimulate physical activity and improve physical fitness of adolescents and young adults with spastic cerebral palsy; a randomized controlled trial. B M C Pediatrics, 10, 1–8. doi:10.1186/1471-2431-10-79