To investigate the long-term effects of home-based constraint induced therapy (CIT) on motor control underlying functional change in children with unilateral cerebral palsy (CP).
Randomized controlled trial.
Children with unilateral CP (N=45; aged 6–12y) were randomly assigned to receive home-based CIT (n=23) or traditional rehabilitation (TR) (n=22).
Both groups received a 4-week therapist-based intervention at home. The home-based CIT involved intensive functional training of the more affected upper extremity during which the less affected one was restrained. The TR involved functional unimanual and bimanual training.
Main Outcome Measures
All children underwent kinematic and clinical assessments at baseline, 4 weeks (posttreatment), and 3 and 6 months (follow-up). The reach-to-grasp kinematics were reaction time (RT), normalized movement time, normalized movement unit, peak velocity (PV), maximum grip aperture (MGA), and percentage of movement where MGA occurs. The clinical measures were the Peabody Developmental Motor Scales, Second Edition (PDMS-2), Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency (BOTMP), and Functional Independence Measure for children (WeeFIM).
The home-based CIT group showed a shorter RT (P<.05) and normalized movement time (P<.01), smaller MGA (P=.006), and fewer normalized movement units (P=.014) in the reach-to-grasp movements at posttreatment and follow-up than the TR group. The home-based CIT group improved more on the PDMS-2 (P<.001) and WeeFIM (P<.01) in all posttreatment tests and on the BOTMP (P<.01) at follow-up than the TR group.
The home-based CIT induced better spatial and temporal efficiency (smoother movement, more efficient grasping, better movement preplanning and execution) for functional improvement up to 6 months after treatment than TR.