Collet JP, et al. Randomised Clinical Trial Unit, Jewish General Hospital, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Lancet. 2001 Feb 24;357(9256):582-6.
Summary: The use of hyperbaric oxygen for children with cerebral palsy has spread worldwide, despite little scientific evidence of efficacy. We did a randomised trial to assess the efficacy and side-effects of this form of therapy in children with cerebral palsy. For all outcomes, both groups improved over the course of the study, but without any difference between the two treatments. The score on the global gross motor function measure increased by 3.0% in the children on slightly pressurised air and 2.9% in those on hyperbaric oxygen. The mean difference between treatments was -0.40 (95% CI -1.69 to 0.90, p=0.544). Other changes were seen in speech, attention, memory, and functional skills. Ear problems occurred in 27 children treated by hyperbaric oxygen and in 15 treated with hyperbaric air (p=0.004). In this study, hyperbaric oxygen did not improve the condition of children with cerebral palsy compared with slightly pressurised air. The improvement seen in both groups for all dimensions tested deserves further consideration.
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