Research Article  |   September 2016
Feasibility of Using an Arm Weight–Supported Training System to Improve Hand Function Skills in Children With Hemiplegia
Author Affiliations
  • Swetha Krishnaswamy, MSOT, is Occupational Therapist, Department of Rehabilitation, St. Mary’s Hospital for Children, Bayside, NY; skrishnaswamy@stmaryskids.org
  • Daniel J. Coletti, PhD, is Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Medicine, Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine, Great Neck, NY
  • Hilary Berlin, MD, is Assistant Clinical Professor of Rehabilitation Medicine and Pediatrics, The Hofstra North Shore LIJ School of Medicine, Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY
  • Kathleen Friel, PhD, is Assistant Professor of Neurology and Neuroscience, Brain Mind Research Institute, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, NY, and Director, Clinical Laboratory for Early Brain Injury Recovery, Burke Medical Research Institute, White Plains, NY
Article Information
Hand and Upper Extremity / Pediatric Evaluation and Intervention / Children and Youth
Research Article   |   September 2016
Feasibility of Using an Arm Weight–Supported Training System to Improve Hand Function Skills in Children With Hemiplegia
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, September 2016, Vol. 70, 7006220050p1-7006220050p7. doi:10.5014/ajot.2016.018929
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, September 2016, Vol. 70, 7006220050p1-7006220050p7. doi:10.5014/ajot.2016.018929
Abstract

OBJECTIVE. This investigation was a pilot feasibility trial evaluating the use of an arm-weight–supported training device to improve upper-extremity function in children with hemiplegia.

METHOD. A single-group within-subject design was used. Participants were 6 children ages 7–17 yr with upper-extremity weakness secondary to hemiplegia. The intervention consisted of 15–18 treatment sessions using an arm-weight–supported training device with the affected upper extremity. Fine motor function was assessed using the Jebsen–Taylor Hand Function Test, the Box and Block Test, and the Assisting Hand Assessment. We examined participants’ interactions with the device and assessment scores pre- and postintervention.

RESULTS. Five of the 6 children exhibited some changes after the therapy. The system required significant modifications to ensure appropriate positioning.

CONCLUSION. The arm-weight–supported system may be viable for therapeutic use. Future studies should use randomized controlled designs and compare effectiveness of weight-supported training with that of other rehabilitation strategies.