Forced use as a home-based intervention in children with congenital hemiplegic cerebral palsy: choosing the appropriate constraint.
Burridge, Jane Helena
Kennedy, Colin R.
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PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was (1) to identify the most appropriate splint from children's and parents' perspective as reflected by effectiveness and adherence to home-based forced use therapy (FUT). (2) To provide guidance in the development of a practical and effective protocol based on forced use principles. METHOD: A crossover design with a convenience sample of children with hemiplegic cerebral palsy and their parents was used to test three types of splint (mitt, short splint and long splint) during home-based FUT. Children wore the splints for a minimum of 1 h/ day during physical activity. Outcome measures included a daily log and a questionnaire (completed by parents), an actometer worn on the affected hand to quantify movement and video recordings to inform quality of movement. RESULTS: The short splint was found to be the most effective and acceptable restraining device. Wearing devices for more than 1 h per day was not considered acceptable by either parents or children. CONCLUSION: A short splint, worn for 1 h per day was found to be the most acceptable protocol.