Research Article  |   March 2017
Somatosensory Discrimination Intervention Improves Body Position Sense and Motor Performance in Children With Hemiplegic Cerebral Palsy
Author Affiliations
  • Belinda McLean, OT, is PhD Candidate, School of Paediatrics and Child Health, University of Western Australia, Perth, and Department of Paediatric Rehabilitation, Princess Margaret Hospital for Children, Perth, Western Australia, Australia; Belinda.Mclean2@health.wa.gov.au
  • Susan Taylor, OT, is PhD Candidate, Department of Paediatric Rehabilitation, Princess Margaret Hospital for Children, Perth, Western Australia, Australia, and School of Occupational Therapy and Social Work, Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia, Australia
  • Eve Blair, PhD, is Associate Professor, Telethon Kids Institute, University of Western Australia, Perth
  • Jane Valentine, FRACP FAFRM, is Head of Department, Department of Paediatric Rehabilitation, Princess Margaret Hospital for Children, Perth, Western Australia, Australia, and PhD Candidate, School of Paediatrics and Child Health, University of Western Australia, Perth
  • Leeanne Carey, PhD, OT, is Head, Neurorehabilitation and Recovery, Stroke Division, Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, and Professor of Occupational Therapy, Discipline Lead, Occupational Therapy, Department of Community and Clinical Allied Health, School of Allied Health, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  • Catherine Elliott, PhD, OT, is Professor and Chair of Allied Health, Child and Adolescent Health Services, Perth, Western Australia, Australia, and School of Occupational Therapy and Social Work, Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Article Information
Neurologic Conditions / Pediatric Evaluation and Intervention / Special Issue
Research Article   |   March 2017
Somatosensory Discrimination Intervention Improves Body Position Sense and Motor Performance in Children With Hemiplegic Cerebral Palsy
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, March 2017, Vol. 71, 7103190060p1-7103190060p9. doi:10.5014/ajot.2016.024968
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, March 2017, Vol. 71, 7103190060p1-7103190060p9. doi:10.5014/ajot.2016.024968
Abstract

OBJECTIVE. This study examined the use of the adult neuroscience-based Sense© intervention with children with hemiplegic cerebral palsy (HCP) to improve upper-limb somatosensory discrimination, motor function, and goal performance.

METHOD. Seventeen children with HCP (9 boys, 8 girls; mean age = 10.2 yr) participated in this pilot matched-pairs trial with random allocation and 6-mo follow-up (intervention, n = 7; control, n = 10). The intervention group received Sense training 3×/wk for 6 wk (18 hr). Outcome measures included Goal Attainment Scaling, Sense_assess© Kids, and the Assisting Hand Assessment.

RESULTS. The intervention group improved in goal performance, proprioception, and bimanual hand use and maintained improvement at 6-mo follow-up. The control group improved in occupational performance by 6-mo follow-up.

CONCLUSION. This study established the feasibility of using the Sense intervention in a pediatric setting and adds preliminary evidence to suggest that improving somatosensory function can improve motor function and goal performance among children with HCP.