Outcome measures evaluating hand function in children with bilateral cerebral palsy: a systematic review

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Abstract

AIM

To review outcome measures used to evaluate hand function, with emphasis on manual capacity and performance, in children with bilateral cerebral palsy (CP), to describe the content and measurement properties of such measures, and to investigate the quality of the studies that have examined these properties.

METHOD

Embase, MEDLINE, PubMed, and CINAHL were searched. The COSMIN-criteria (COnsensus-based Standards for the selection of health Measurement INstruments) were used to assess the quality of studies and the Terwee criteria were used to assess the result of the studies.

RESULTS

Five hand function measures were identified from 16 papers. The strongest level of evidence for aspects of validity and reliability was found for the Melbourne Assessment 2, assessing unimanual capacity, and for the questionnaire ABILHAND-Kids, assessing perceived manual ability in daily activities. However, evidence for the responsiveness of these measures is missing.

INTERPRETATION

Further high-quality studies providing evidence for responsiveness, as well as for additional aspects of validity and reliability of the Melbourne Assessment 2 and the ABILHAND-Kids, are needed. Furthermore, there is a need to develop appropriate outcome measures evaluating how children with bilateral CP use their hands when handling objects in bimanual tasks.

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