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Research Article  |   July 2004
Performing Bimanual Activities: The Experiences of Young Persons With Hemiplegic Cerebral Palsy
Author Affiliations
  • Annika Sköld, OT, is Occupational Therapist, Neuropediatric Research Unit Q2:07, Karolinska Institutet, Astrid Lindgren Children’s Hospital, SE-171 76 Stockholm, Sweden; annika.skold@kbh.ki.se
  • Staffan Josephsson, PhD, OT, is Senior Lecturer, Clinical Neuroscience Unit, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
  • Ann-Christin Eliasson, PhD, OT, is Associate Professor, Neuropediatric Unit, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
Article Information
Neurologic Conditions / Pediatric Evaluation and Intervention / Meanings, Experiences, and Perceptions of Adults With Physical Disabilities
Research Article   |   July 2004
Performing Bimanual Activities: The Experiences of Young Persons With Hemiplegic Cerebral Palsy
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, July/August 2004, Vol. 58, 416-425. doi:10.5014/ajot.58.4.416
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, July/August 2004, Vol. 58, 416-425. doi:10.5014/ajot.58.4.416
Abstract

This qualitative research study was designed to explore and describe the process of planning and performing bimanual activities in young persons with hemiplegic cerebral palsy. Interviews with 10 persons individually and four persons in a focus group provided rich information about their reasoning when confronting problems as well as insight into how they view their situations. The data were analyzed using a comparative method. The findings show that the participants had to make conscious choices about what would be the most effective strategies to use for carrying out activities. The choices involved weighing different options to find the least negative alternative. Even when able to find alternative strategies for performing the activity, the participants were often dissatisfied with negative consequences related to the strategy. Examples of such negative consequences could be, for example, that they would have to accept a need for extra time, planning, or concentration, to perform desired activities. When selecting a strategy it was thus favorable to have a repertoire of strategies from which to choose. In conclusion, the planning and performing of bimanual activities turned out to be a complex process influenced by a range of factors both internal and external to the person.