Interception of moving objects while walking in children with Spastic Hemiparetic Cerebral Palsy

A.X.C. Ricken, G.J.P. Savelsbergh, S.J. Bennett

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    Abstract

    Purpose. The purpose of the study was to examine the coordination of reaching and walking behaviour when children with Spastic Hemiparetic Cerebral Palsy (SHCP) intercept an approaching and hence externally-timed object. Method. Using either the impaired or non-impaired arm, children intercepted a ball approaching from a fixed distance with one of three velocities. Each participant's initial starting position was scaled to their maximum walking velocity determined prior to testing; for the medium ball velocity, participants would arrive at the point of interception at the correct time if they walked with their maximum velocity. Results. Children with SHCP adapted their reaching and walking behaviour to the different ball approach velocities. These adaptations were exhibited when using the impaired and non-impaired arm, and resulted in similar outcome performance irrespective of which arm was used. Still, children with SHCP found it necessary to increase trunk movement to compensate for the decreased elbow excursion and a decreased peak velocity of the impaired arm. Conclusion. Children with SHCP exhibited specific adaptations to their altered movement capabilities when performing a behaviourally-realistic task. The provision of an external timing constraint appeared to facilitate both reaching and walking movements and hence could represent a useful technique in rehabilitation.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)69-77
    JournalDisability and Rehabilitation
    Volume29
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2007

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