Research in developmental disabilities | 12 Jun 2013
AR Smorenburg, A Ledebt, FJ Deconinck and GJ Savelsbergh
This experimental study aimed to determine the effect of practicing a position matching task with (mirror) visual feedback of the less-impaired arm on the matching accuracy of the impaired arm in children and adolescents with spastic hemiparetic cerebral palsy. Practice consisted of 40 trials of bimanual target matching, where one group received regular visual feedback and a second group received mirror visual feedback of the less-impaired arm. On three occasions (pre, post, and after a 1-week-retention) position sense (matching accuracy measured as the endpoint error in cm) of the impaired arm was tested with a unimanual and bimanual matching task, performed without any visual information of either hand. Matching accuracy of the impaired arm was better in the post-test than in the pre-test, but this improvement was similar for both practice groups. In the retention-test, accuracy had returned to pre-test-level, which might be ascribed to the short duration of the practice period. These outcomes suggest that practicing a matching task with visual feedback of the less-impaired arm might help to improve the matching accuracy of the impaired arm in individuals with spastic hemiparetic cerebral palsy.
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