Objective: To investigate the effects of sensory cueing with repetitive practice on hemiplegic arm functions in children with unilateral cerebral palsy. Design: A single-group pre/post comparison. Setting: A special school for children with physical disabilities. Subjects: Eight children with unilateral cerebral palsy aged 6-18 years. Interventions: Participants were required to wear for three weeks a sensory cueing, non-activated wristwatch device and complete 5 hours of conventional therapy per week (treatment A). This was followed by three weeks of continuing conventional therapy and wearing the now activated wristwatch, which prompted the children to do predetermined exercises on the hemiplegic arm for 6 hours daily, 5 days per week, for three weeks (treatment B), and three weeks follow-up. Main measures: Assessments of arm efficiency, functional hand use and arm impairments were carried out at baseline (day before treatment A), posttest 1 (day after treatment A), posttest 2 (day after treatment B) and follow-up (three weeks after treatment B). Results: Arm efficiency as revealed by the Jebsen-Taylor Hand Function Test and the Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency - but not actual arm use and grip strength - showed significant improvement after treatment B to follow-up (from 286.0 ± 73.9 to 191.9 ± 73.5, P = 0.002, and from 15.5 ± 5.0 to 18.1 ± 7.7, P = 0.021). Conclusion: This pilot study provides proof-of-concept data showing that a wearable device might be used to remind children with cerebral palsy to perform a set of predetermined arm exercises in order to promote hemiplegic arm function.
- sensory cueing
- structured arm practice
- Unilateral cerebral palsy
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation