Pediatric constraint-induced movement therapy for a young child with cerebral palsy: two episodes of care

Phys Ther. 2003 Nov;83(11):1003-13.


Background and purpose: This case report describes the use of "Pediatric Constraint-Induced Therapy (Pediatric CI Therapy)" given on 2 separate occasions for a young child with quadriparetic cerebral palsy.

Case description: The child was 15 months of age at the beginning of the first episode of care. She had previously received weekly physical therapy and occupational therapy for 11 months, but she had no functional use of her right upper extremity (UE), independently or in an assistive manner. She scored from 5 to 7 months below her chronological age on developmental assessments in gross motor, fine motor, and self-help skills.

Intervention: Pediatric CI Therapy involved placement of a full-arm, bivalved cast on the child's less affected UE while providing 3 weeks of intensive intervention (6 hours a day) for the child's more affected UE (intervention 1). Therapy included activities that were goal oriented but broken down into progressively more challenging step-by-step tasks. Pediatric CI Therapy was administered again 5 months later to promote UE skills and independence (intervention 2).

Outcomes: The child developed new behaviors throughout both interventions. During intervention 1, the child developed independent reach, grasp, release, weight bearing (positioned prone on elbows) of both UEs, gestures, self-feeding, sitting, and increased interactive play using both UEs. During intervention 2, she had increased independence and improved quality of UE movement, as supported by blinded clinical evaluations and parent ratings.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cerebral Palsy / physiopathology
  • Cerebral Palsy / rehabilitation*
  • Episode of Care
  • Female
  • Hemiplegia / physiopathology
  • Hemiplegia / rehabilitation
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Physical Therapy Modalities / methods*