Upper limb kinematics: Development and reliability of a clinical protocol for children

E. Jaspers, H. Feys, H. Bruyninckx, J. Harlaar, G. Molenaers, K. Desloovere

    Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


    This study proposed a child-friendly measurement procedure for the three-dimensional analysis of upper limb movements, based on a comprehensive movement protocol. Within and between session reliability was tested in a group of 10 typically developing children (TDC) (mean age 10.3 ± 3.2. years). The movement protocol was constructed for children with hemiplegic cerebral palsy (HCP) and contained three reach tasks (forwards, upwards, sideways), three reach-to-grasp tasks (with objects requiring different hand orientations) and three gross motor tasks. Upper limb kinematics were calculated following the ISB-guidelines. Reliability of movement duration/speed and endpoint joint angles was assessed with the intraclass correlation coefficient; similarity of the waveforms with the coefficient of multiple correlation; measurement errors were also calculated.Reliability coefficients were generally high for movement duration/speed and most kinematic parameters. Endpoint angles for scapular tilting, shoulder elevation plane and elevation, elbow flexion-extension and wrist ulnar-radial deviation showed highest reliability. Angular waveforms were best repeated for scapular medio-lateral rotation and pro-retraction, shoulder elevation plane and elevation, and elbow flexion-extension. Results also seemed task-dependent.This study indicated that the proposed procedure could be used reliably to quantify upper limb movements in TDC. However, to compose proper age-related standards for the different tasks, larger study samples are needed. This will also help with a well-founded task-selection depending on the joints of interest. Finally, further research will need to establish the reliability in children with HCP. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)279-285
    JournalGait and Posture
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


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