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Intensive Unimanual Training Leads to Better Reaching and Head Control than Bimanual Training in Children with Unilateral Cerebral Palsy.
To quantify the changes in joint movement control and motor planning of the more-affected upper extremity (UE) during a reach-grasp-eat task in children with Unilateral Spastic Cerebral Palsy (USCP) after either constraint-induced movement therapy (CIMT) or hand-arm bimanual intensive therapy (HABIT).
Twenty children with USCP (average age 7.7; MACS levels I-II) were randomized into either a CIMT or HABIT group. Both groups received intensive training 6 h a day for 15 days. Children performed a reach-grasp-eat task before and after training with their more-affected hand using 3D kinematic analysis.
Both groups illustrated shorter movement time during reaching, grasping, and eating phases after training (p < 0.05). Additionally, both intensive training approaches improved joint control with decreased trunk involvement, greater elbow, and wrist excursions during the reaching phase, and greater elbow excursion during the eating phase (p < 0.05). However, only the CIMT group decreased hand curvature during reaching, lowered hand position at grasp, and decreased head rotation during the eating phase (p < 0.05).
The current findings showed that both CIMT and HABIT improved UE joint control, but there were greater effects of CIMT on the more-affected UE motor planning and head control for children with USCP.