The Journal of Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine published research indicating that constraint-induced movement therapy (CIMT) and bimanual therapy for children with unilateral cerebral palsy are complementary. Using literature and clinical insight, the authors discuss the evidence-based interventions that CIMT and bimanual therapy highlighting the time-limited, goal-directed, skills-based, intensive blocks of practice based on motor learning theory. The authors determined the following:
- focusing on total dosage of practice for achieving positive outcomes fails to acknowledge the influence of other critical concepts within motor learning.
- limitations exist in the application of motor learning principles using CIMT due to its unimanual nature.
- CIMT is effective for development of unimanual actions generated by implicit learning, but it is hard to encourage explicit learning that is required for learning how to use two hands together.
- using bimanual therapy, object properties can be changed to trigger goal-related perceptual and cognitive processes required for children to learn to determine when two hands are required for task completion.
The authors concluded that CIMT and bimanual therapy are complementary using CIMT to focus on unimanual actions and progressing to bimanual therapy for children to learn how to use these actions for bimanual skill development.
Reference: Hoare, B., & Greaves, S. (2017). Unimanual versus bimanual therapy in children with unilateral cerebral palsy: Same, same, but different. Journal of Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine, 10(1), 47-59.
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