Constraint-induced movement therapy (CIMT) promotes hand function using intensive unimanual practice along with restraint of the less-affected hand. CIMT has not been compared with a treatment with equivalent dosing frequency and intensity in children with cerebral palsy (CP).
The authors report a randomized trial comparing CIMT and a bimanual intervention (hand-arm intensive bimanual therapy; HABIT) that maintains the intensity of practice associated with CIMT but where children are engaged in functional bimanual tasks.
A total of 42 participants with hemiplegic CP between the ages of 3.5 and 10 years (matched for age and hand function) were randomized to receive 90 hours of CIMT or an equivalent dosage of functional bimanual training (HABIT) conducted in day-camp environments. A physical therapist blinded to treatment allocation tested hand function before and after treatment. The primary outcomes were changes in Jebsen-Taylor Test of Hand Function (JTTHF) and Assisting Hand Assessment (AHA) scores. Secondary measures included the Goal Attainment Scale (GAS).
Both the CIMT and HABIT groups demonstrated comparable improvement from the pretest to immediate posttest in the JTTHF and AHA (P < .0001), which were maintained at 6 months. GAS, however, revealed greater progress toward goals for the HABIT group (P < .0001), with continued improvement across test sessions for both groups (P < .0001).
Both CIMT and bimanual training lead to similar improvements in hand function. A potential benefit of bimanual training is that participants may improve more on self-determined goals.
"The recent body of evidence supporting upper limb task-specific training interventions [5,7,8] is primarily in the unilateral cerebral palsy population. The evidence to support task-specific training in brain injury, and other typographies of cerebral palsy, is limited, although theorists expect similar results are possible. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Cerebral palsy (CP) and brain injury (BI) are common conditions that have devastating effects on a child’s ability to use their hands. Hand splinting and task-specific training are two interventions that are often used to address deficits in upper limb skills, both in isolation or concurrently. The aim of this paper is to describe the method to be used to conduct two randomised controlled trials (RCT) investigating (a) the immediate effect of functional hand splints, and (b) the effect of functional hand splints used concurrently with task-specific training compared to functional hand splints alone, and to task-specific training alone in children with CP and BI. The Cognitive Orientation to Occupational Performance (CO-OP) approach will be the task-specific training approach used.
Two concurrent trials; a two group, parallel design, RCT with a sample size of 30 participants (15 per group); and a three group, parallel design, assessor blinded, RCT with a sample size of 45 participants (15 per group). Inclusion criteria: age 4-15 years; diagnosis of CP or BI; Manual Abilities Classification System (MACS) level I – IV; hand function goals; impaired hand function; the cognitive, language and behavioural ability to participate in CO-OP. Participants will be randomly allocated to one of 3 groups; (1) functional hand splint only (n=15); (2) functional hand splint combined with task-specific training (n=15); (3) task-specific training only (n=15). Allocation concealment will be achieved using sequentially numbered, sealed opaque envelopes opened by an off-site officer after baseline measures. Treatment will be provided for a period of 2 weeks, with outcome measures taken at baseline, 1 hour after randomisation, 2 weeks and 10 weeks. The functional hand splint will be a wrist cock-up splint (+/- thumb support or supination strap). Task-specific training will involve 10 sessions of CO-OP provided in a group of 2-4 children. Primary outcome measures will be the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure (COPM) and the Goal Attainment Scale (GAS). Analysis will be conducted on an intention-to-treat basis.
This paper outlines the protocol for two randomised controlled trials investigating functional hand splints and CO-OP for children with CP and BI.
"In contrast, when mCIMT has been compared to an equivalent dose of intensive bimanual training or goal directed occupational therapy, minimal differences have been found on most clinical measures, as both interventions yield similar improvements [10,11,13]. This highlights that the dose of therapy may be the critical ingredient rather than the type of therapy (e.g. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Introduction
Children with congenital hemiplegia often present with limitations in using their impaired upper limb which impacts on independence in activities of daily living, societal participation and quality of life. Traditional therapy has adopted a bimanual training approach (BIM) and more recently, modified constraint induced movement therapy (mCIMT) has emerged as a promising unimanual approach. Evidence of enhanced neuroplasticity following mCIMT suggests that the sequential application of mCIMT followed by bimanual training may optimise outcomes (Hybrid CIMT). It remains unclear whether more intensely delivered group based interventions (hCIMT) are superior to distributed models of individualised therapy. This study aims to determine the optimal density of upper limb training for children with congenital hemiplegia.
Methods and analyses
A total of 50 children (25 in each group) with congenital hemiplegia will be recruited to participate in this randomized comparison trial. Children will be matched in pairs at baseline and randomly allocated to receive an intensive block group hybrid model of combined mCIMT followed by intensive bimanual training delivered in a day camp model (COMBiT; total dose 45 hours direct, 10 hours of indirect therapy), or a distributed model of standard occupational therapy and physiotherapy care (SC) over 12 weeks (total 45 hours direct and indirect therapy). Outcomes will be assessed at 13 weeks after commencement, and retention of effects tested at 26 weeks. The primary outcomes will be bimanual coordination and unimanual upper-limb capacity. Secondary outcomes will be participation and quality of life. Advanced brain imaging will assess neurovascular changes in response to treatment. Analysis will follow standard principles for RCTs, using two-group comparisons on all participants on an intention-to-treat basis. Comparisons will be between treatment groups using generalized linear models.
"shown that the beneficial effects of (modified) CIMT/(m)CIMT are retained at six months (Case-Smith et al., 2012; Charles et al., 2006; Gordon et al., 2011; Taub et al., 2004; Wallen et al., 2011) and even one year (Sakzewski et al., 2011a) post intervention. However, relatively little is known about the learning curve during the period of constraint, for instance, at what point in time (maximal) effects are reached. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The goal of this study was to determine the progression of manual dexterity during 6 weeks (54 h) (modified) constraint-induced movement therapy ((m)CIMT) followed by 2 weeks (18 h) bimanual training (BiT) in children with unilateral spastic cerebral palsy (CP), to establish whether and when a maximal training effect was reached and which factors might influence the motor learning curve. In addition, long-term retention of effects was determined. In a randomized controlled trial of 52 children with CP, aged 2.5–8 years, comparing mCIMT-BiT to conventional therapy, 28 children were allocated to the mCIMTBiT group. This group was assessed weekly with the Box and Block test. Long-term effectiveness was determined by collecting follow-up data of the primary (Assisting Hand Assessment, ABILHAND-Kids) and secondary (Melbourne, COPM) outcomes at six months and one year after intervention. Fifteen children (53.6%) reached a maximum training
effect within the mCIMT period. This group differed from others with respect to age, but not gender, affected side or manual ability. Children younger than five years had a greater chance to reach a maximum score within 6 weeks mCIMT (OR = 6.67, 95%CI = 1.24–35.71) that stabilized already after four weeks; older children showed a longer progression and tended to decline afterwards. In both age groups, beneficial effects were retained in the long term. The findings suggest that children of 5 years and older might profit from a longer period of mCIMT than 54 h to reach their maximum unimanual capacity and to retain this capacity during subsequent bimanual training.
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