Effects of Constraint-Induced Therapy on Hand Function in Children with Hemiplegic Cerebral Palsy

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PurposeThe effects of constraint-induced therapy on hand function of the involved upper extremity were examined in three children with hemiplegic cerebral palsy.MethodsIn these case reports, the noninvolved upper extremities of the children were constrained six hours daily for 14 consecutive days. Hand function, strength, sensation, and fingertip force coordination were examined pre- and postintervention.ResultsThe results indicated that there was an improvement in hand function for two of the three children and an improvement in two-point discrimination threshold values for all children. While there was no consistent change in fingertip force coordination during precision grip across children, one child demonstrated a consistent decrease in duration of temporal phases of fingertip force coordination and two children demonstrated a reorganization of the grip-lift synergy of the involved hand.Conclusion and Clinical ImplicationsImprovement in hand function is not captured by any one measure. The effectiveness of this intervention is promising but may be dependent on the severity of the impairment.

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