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Research Article  |   November 1996
The Effect of an Inhibitive Weight-Bearing Splint on Tone and Function: A Single-Case Study
Author Affiliations
  • Judith Kinghorn, OTR, OT(C), is Senior Occupational Therapist, Preschool Treatment Services, Alberta Children’s Hospital, 1820 Richmond Road, SW, Calgary, Alberta T2T 5C7, Canada
  • Gwen Roberts, MSc, OT(C), is Senior Occupational Therapist, Neuromotor Clinic, Alberta Children’s Hospital, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Article Information
Splinting / Research
Research Article   |   November 1996
The Effect of an Inhibitive Weight-Bearing Splint on Tone and Function: A Single-Case Study
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, November/December 1996, Vol. 50, 807-815. doi:10.5014/ajot.50.10.807
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, November/December 1996, Vol. 50, 807-815. doi:10.5014/ajot.50.10.807
Abstract

Objective. This single-case study was designed to duplicate Smelt’s (1989) study of the effects of the application of an inhibitive weight-bearing splint on upper-extremity muscle tone and function in a child with cerebral palsy.

Method. Data on tone were collected by tracing the hand when weight bearing in the extended arm posture. Data on function were collected by observing block play for active grasp and voluntary release and ball play.

Results. Results indicate that after the application of an inhibitive weight-bearing splint, tone changed minimally, fine motor functional task changes were variable, and arm–hand position improved. Subjective reports by family and other caregivers, however, suggest that tone decreased and function increased.

Conclusion. The results of this study suggest the need to find more accurate means of measuring changes of tone and function in children with cerebral palsy. Selection criteria for suitable candidates for the weight-bearing splint are presented.