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Indexed/Abstracted in: CINAHL, Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
Impact Factor 2,063
Online ISSN 1973-9095
Turconi A. C. 1, Biffi E. 1, Maghini C. 1, Peri E. 1, 2, Servodio Iammarone F. 1, 3, Gagliardi C. 1
1 Scientific Institute, IRCCS Eugenio Medea, Bosisio Parini (LC), Italy;
2 Neuroengineering and medical robotic laboratory (NEARLab), Electronics, Information and Bioengineering Department (DEIB), Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy;
3 Multispecialistic Rehabilitation Unit, A.O.R.N. Santobono-Pausilipon, Naples, Italy
BACKGROUND: Few systematic studies describe rehabilitation trainings for upper limb in diplegic CP children, who - especially if grown up - are often not considered as a target for rehabilitation interventions.
AIM: In this pilot study we describe the details and the effectiveness of an intensive, technology assisted intervention for upper limb.
SETTING: the treatment combines the utilization of Armeo®Spring with a training focused on hand/finger fluency and dexterity in a pre-post treatment experimental design.
POPULATION: Participants were ten school-aged children (mean age 11,2) children with Bilateral CP – Diplegia, attending mainstream schools.
METHODS: Participants underwent 40 therapy sessions in four weeks. Armeo®Spring measures, standardized motor and perceptual outcome indexes, as well as everyday life indicators were utilized to assess the effect of the intervention.
RESULTS: Upper limb coordination, fluency and quality of movements mainly of hands and fingers significantly improved, with a good transferability to everyday life also in areas not specifically trained, such as self-care abilities and mobility. Probably due to the visual feedback provided by the virtual reality setting – which was all in one the context, the incentive and the product of activities- also perceptual abilities significantly improved.
CONCLUSIONS: Our study suggests the importance of intervention on upper limb even in milder CP diplegic forms and in relatively grown up children. The possibility of modification at least partially relies on learning processes that are active all along development and benefit from stimulation.
CLINICAL REHABILITATION IMPACT: Though further studies with control groups and follow-up perspective are needed to confirm, new technologies offer interesting possibilities to be integrated into new evidence based rehabilitation models.