Field: Cerebral palsy

Location: Centre for Children's Health Research

Type of student: PhD or MPhil only

Type of work: 

  • Chart review
  • Clinical work
  • Literature review
  • Qualitative methods
  • Secondary data analysis
  • Statistical analysis
  • Systematic review

The Project: An opportunity exists for two (2) high calibre higher degree research student to pursue a research career in paediatrics with a focus on exercise interventions to improve muscle health and function in children with cerebral palsy.

Individuals with cerebral palsy (CP) have muscles that are smaller, weaker and more resistant to stretch compared to typically developing people. Progressive resistance training leads to increases in muscle size and strength. In CP, the benefits of resistance training alone may not transfer to improve other activities such as walking; however, the transfer of strength improvements to improved mobility may be enhanced by performing training that involves specific functional tasks or motor skills. The project is a collaboration between researchers from the Queensland Cerebral Palsy and Rehabilitation Research Centre (QCPRRC) and clinicians from the Queensland Paediatric Rehabilitation Service (QPRS), Lady Cilento Children's Hospital. Two (2) PhD positions are available with the project suited to a physiotherapist or exercise physiologist with experience in paediatrics and/or biomechanics.
Research Aims: This study aims to determine the efficacy of combined functional anaerobic and strength training in children aged 6-12 years of age with cerebral palsy to

1. Influencing muscle neuromuscular properties strength, structure and function and,

2. To determine if any changes in muscle strength and structure following training impact on walking ability and gross motor functional capacity and performance

Time frame: Commencing in 2018

Child Health Research Centre website


Professor Roslyn Boyd

Child Health Research Centre

Main contact

Dr Lee Barber