Thursday, April 9, 2009

Upper Extremity Splint Compliance and AT Use

Here is some information on an intriguing study in the Developmental Neurorehabilitation on children with hemiplegia and their use of upper extremity splints and assistive technology. The study reports that 56% of the children were prescribed UE splints but only 48% of those children were using the splints. In comparison, 46% of the children were prescribed assistive technology and 98% of those children were using the assistive technology provided to them. What a difference!

In my experience, compliance with orthotic use is frequently an issue. Some children dislike wearing them for various reasons - discomfort, appearance, parental dislike, etc. I attempted to find more research articles on compliance with upper extremity orthoses and came up empty handed. Does anyone have any articles to recommend regarding orthotic compliance in children?

I have heard educators and parents complain that at times assistive technology does not get used to its fullest potential due to lack of training with different products. It was promising to see that in this study this was not the case - 98% user rate is extremely high.

Reference: Russo, Remo Nunzio, Atkins, Renae, Haan, Eric, Crotty, Maria Upper limb orthoses and assistive technology utilization in children with hemiplegic cerebral palsy recruited from a population registerSN - 1751-8423
2009 Developmental Neurorehabilitation 12 (2): 92-99 URL -

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