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Pediatric Physical Therapy:
doi: 10.1097/PEP.0000000000000008
Research Article

Effect of Body-Scaled Information on Reaching in Children With Hemiplegic Cerebral Palsy: A Pilot Study

Huang, Hsiang-han ScD, OT; Ellis, Terry D. PT, PhD, NCS; Wagenaar, Robert C. PhD; Fetters, Linda PT, PhD, FAPTA

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Purpose: This study examined body-scaled information that specifies the reach patterns of children with hemiplegic cerebral palsy and children with typical development.

Methods: Nine children with hemiplegic cerebral palsy (3-5 years) and 9 age-matched children with typical development participated in the study. They were required to reach and grasp 10 different pairs of cubes. Reach data were coded as either a 1-handed reach or a 2-handed reach. Dimensionless ratios were calculated by dividing the cube size by the maximal aperture between the index finger and thumb. A critical ratio was used to establish the shift from a 1-handed to an exclusive 2-handed reach.

Results: The critical ratio was not significantly different for either preferred or nonpreferred arms within and between groups. All children used an exclusive 2-handed reach at a similar dimensionless ratio.

Conclusion: Our study provides evidence of the “fit” between environment (cube size) and the individual's capabilities (finger aperture) for reaching for both groups.

© 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins and the Section on Pediatrics of the American Physical Therapy Association.


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