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Research Article  |   October 1993
The Efficacy of Upper Extremity Inhibitive Casting: A Single-Subject Pilot Study
Author Affiliations
  • Janice L. Tona, MS, OTR, is Supervisor of Occupational Therapy at Children’s Hospital of Buffalo, 515 Stockton Kimball Tower, 3435 Main Street, Buffalo, New York 14214–3079, and is clinical instructor of Occupational Therapy at the State University of New York at Buffalo. At the time of this study, she was a Master of Science candidate at the University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Colleen M. Schneck, ScD, OTR, is Consultant and Lecturer, Germantown, Maryland. At the time of this study, she was Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Article Information
Hand and Upper Extremity / Musculoskeletal Impairments / Neurologic Conditions / Pediatric Evaluation and Intervention / Splinting / Research
Research Article   |   October 1993
The Efficacy of Upper Extremity Inhibitive Casting: A Single-Subject Pilot Study
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, October 1993, Vol. 47, 901-910. doi:10.5014/ajot.47.10.901
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, October 1993, Vol. 47, 901-910. doi:10.5014/ajot.47.10.901
Abstract

This pilot study was designed to examine the effects of short-term (48-hr) upper extremity inhibitive casting, with an encased thermoplastic splint, on problems related to upper motor neuron damage. The subject was an 8 ½-year-old girl with left upper extremity spasticity. Three different measures were used: (a) rating of videotaped active movements of the child; (b) the Modified Ashworth Scale, a clinical measure of spasticity; and (c) The Biodex System, a measure of torque during passive elbow flexion and extension. After cast removal, subjective improvements were noted in the quality of active movement (through videotapes) and increased awareness and use of the casted hand by the child (through parents’ reports). A trend toward decreased spasticity was demonstrated by the Modified Ashworth Scale and a statistically significant decrease in resistance to passive movement was shown by the Biodex recordings. However, this reduction in symptoms was temporary, lasting less them 3 days. The results of this study suggest that short-term inhibitory casting may prove efficacious in the treatment of the child with cerebral palsy, although further research is needed.