Ertan Tufekcioglu1, Ferman Konukman2, Fatih Kaya3, Duran Arslan4, Goksel Ozan5, Mustafa Sait Erzeybek6, Esam A. Al-Sawi7

1King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals, College of Applied Studies, Physical Education Department, Dammam, Saudi Arabia
2Qatar University, College of Arts and Sciences, Sport Science Program, Doha, Qatar
3Erzincan Binali Yıldırım University, Faculty of Education, Department of Physical Education and Sports, Erzincan, Turkey
4Youth and Sports Ministry, Istanbul, Turkey
5Marmara University, Faculty of Sport Sciences, Department of Physical Education and Sports, Istanbul, Turkey
6Dumlupinar University, Faculty of Sport Sciences, Department of Physical Education and Sports, Kutahya, Turkey
7King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals, College of Sciences, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Dammam, Saudi Arabia

The Effects of Aquatic Watsu Therapy on Gross Motor Performance and Quality of Life for Children with Cerebral Palsy

Monten. J. Sports Sci. Med. 2021, 10(2), 25-30 | DOI: 10.26773/mjssm.210904


The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of Immersion and Watsu® therapy protocols on children with cerebral palsy. Gross motor function (GMF), spasticity (MAS), and Quality of Life (QoL) parameters of twenty-three children (age: 7.5±2.8, BMI: 17±3.7) were measured. Subjects received Watsu® therapy and Immersion protocols in Watsu-Immersion (W-I, n=12) and Immersion-Watsu (I-W n=11) groups in different periods based on a crossover design. The subjects received sessions for 30 minutes twice a week during 10-week experimental periods. The results were investigated with independent sample t-test and Wilcoxon rank-sum tests, which showed that there was no evidence of carryover effects in GMFM 88 and QoL. In contrast, Watsu® improved GMFM 88 (p<0.05), Quality of Life (p<0.05), and MAS-Upper spasticity (p<0.05), scores significantly compared to immersion. The current results demonstrated the specific benefits of Watsu® therapy on children with CP, confirming the previous anecdotal reports. We recommend Watsu® as a safe and well-accepted complementary intervention for the management of CP.


Watsu®, cerebral palsy, immersion, motor function, quality of life

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