Pediatric Physical Therapy published a single case study comparing physiological functioning, communication switch activation, and response accuracy in a 19-year-old young man with quadriplegic cerebral palsy and neurological scoliosis using 2 seating systems within the school setting. A alternating treatment design was used recording data from the following conditions: baseline (standard planar inserts), using a custom molded back with original seat and again at baseline.
Data collection included oxygen saturation (SaO2), heart rate (HR), respiration rate (RR), body temperature (BT), processing time to activate switches, and response accuracy.
The following results were recorded: 1. SaO2 levels increased from “distressed” to “normal” – variability decreased. 2. HR, RR, and BT fluctuations decreased with the custom-molded back. 3. Processing time decreased with increased variability, affected by subject’s motivation. 4. accuracy improved slightly. 5. social approachability and student-initiated communication increased.
The researchers concluded that SaO2 increased and HR, RR, and BT fluctuations decreased with a custom-molded back and recommend graphing data to help clarify the effects of different seating systems with complex clients.
Reference: Lephart, Kim PT, DPT, MBA, PCS; Kaplan, Sandra L. PT, DPT, PhD. Two Seating Systems’ Effects on an Adolescent With Cerebral Palsy and Severe Scoliosis. Pediatric Physical Therapy. Fall 2015 Vol. 27 – Issue 3: p 258–266