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

doi: 10.1097/PEP.0000000000000008
Research Article

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.

This study of 18 children, 9 with hemiplegia and 9 in an age-matched control group, gives evidence that both groups show that the “fit” between cube size and the individual's finger aperture control reaching in both groups.

Department of Occupational Therapy and Graduate Institute of Behavioral Sciences, Healthy Aging Research Center (Dr Huang), Chang Gung University, Tao-Yuan, Taiwan; Department of Physical Therapy and Athletic Training (Drs Huang, Ellis, and Wagenaar), College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences: Sargent, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts; Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy (Drs Huang and Fetters), University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California; Department of Pediatrics (Dr Fetters), Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California.

Correspondence: Hsiang-han Huang, ScD, OT, Department of Occupational Therapy and Graduate Institute of Behavioral Sciences, Healthy Aging Research Center, Chang Gung University, 259 Wen-Hwa 1st Rd, Kwei-Shan Tao-Yuan, Taiwan (hsianghan@mail.cgu.edu.tw).

At the time this article was written, Hsiang-han Huang was a student at the Department of Physical Therapy and Athletic Training, College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences: Sargent, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

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