New horizons for robot-assisted therapy in pediatrics

Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2012 Nov;91(11 Suppl 3):S280-9. doi: 10.1097/PHM.0b013e31826bcff4.


The field of rehabilitation robotics has grown substantially during the past 15 yrs. Studies of upper limb robot-assisted therapy for adults with moderate to severe hemiparesis after stroke have shown significant gains compared with usual care in isolated control, coordination, and strength in the paretic arm (J Rehabil Res Dev 2006;43:171-84; Top Stroke Rehabil 2007;14:22-44; Neurorehabil Neural Repair 2008;22:111-21). While attempts to increase the understanding of the key active ingredients of these interventions continue, researchers have recently extended their focus to children with neurologically based movement disorders arising from cerebral palsy and acquired brain injury or stroke. This study's aim was to provide a narrative review that highlights recent pediatric studies of robot-assisted therapies for the upper and lower limbs. Potential benefits will be discussed, as well as challenges and needs for future development.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain Injuries / rehabilitation
  • Cerebral Palsy / rehabilitation
  • Child
  • Disabled Children / rehabilitation*
  • Feedback, Sensory
  • Humans
  • Movement Disorders / rehabilitation
  • Orthotic Devices
  • Physical Therapy Modalities / instrumentation*
  • Robotics / trends*
  • Stroke Rehabilitation
  • Task Performance and Analysis