Robot-assisted and computer-enhanced therapies for children with cerebral palsy: current state and clinical implementation

Semin Pediatr Neurol. 2013 Jun;20(2):139-45. doi: 10.1016/j.spen.2013.06.006.


The field of pediatric neurorehabilitation has rapidly evolved with the introduction of technological advancements over recent years. Rehabilitation robotics and computer-assisted systems can complement conventional physiotherapeutics or occupational therapies. These systems appear promising, especially in children, where exciting and challenging virtual reality scenarios could increase motivation to train intensely in a playful therapeutic environment. Despite promising experience and a large acceptance by the patients and parents, so far, only a few therapy systems have been evaluated in children, and well-designed randomized controlled studies in this field are still lacking. This narrative review aims to provide an overview about the to-date robot-assisted and computer-based therapies and the current level of evidence and to share the authors experience about the clinical implication of these new technologies available for children with cerebral palsy.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Arm / physiology
  • Cerebral Palsy / physiopathology
  • Cerebral Palsy / rehabilitation*
  • Cerebral Palsy / therapy*
  • Hand / physiology
  • Humans
  • Lower Extremity / physiology
  • Robotics / instrumentation*
  • Therapy, Computer-Assisted / instrumentation
  • Therapy, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • User-Computer Interface