Guidelines for future research in constraint-induced movement therapy for children with unilateral cerebral palsy: an expert consensus

Dev Med Child Neurol. 2014 Feb;56(2):125-37. doi: 10.1111/dmcn.12273.


Aim: The aim of this study was to provide an overview of what is known about constraintinduced movement therapy (CIMT) in children with unilateral cerebral palsy (CP), to identify current knowledge gaps, and to provide suggestions for future research.

Method: Nine experts participated in a consensus meeting. A comprehensive literature search was conducted and data were summarized before the meeting. The core model produced by the European network for Health Technology Assessment was used as a framework for discussion and to identify critical issues for future research.

Results: All models of CIMT have demonstrated improvements in the upper limb abilities of children with unilateral CP. A consensus was reached on 11 important questions to be further explored in future studies. The areas of highest priority included the effect of dosage, the effect of repeated CIMT, and the impact of predictive factors, such as age, on the response to CIMT. Consensus suggestions for future study designs and the use of validated outcome measures were also provided.

Interpretation: The CIMT construct is complex, and much remains unknown. It is unclear whether a specific model of CIMT demonstrates superiority over others and whether dosage of training matters. Future research should build upon existing knowledge and aim to provide information that will help implement CIMT in various countries with different healthcare resources and organizational structures.

Publication types

  • Consensus Development Conference
  • Practice Guideline
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biomedical Research*
  • Cerebral Palsy / physiopathology
  • Cerebral Palsy / rehabilitation*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Functional Laterality / physiology*
  • Hemiplegia / physiopathology
  • Hemiplegia / rehabilitation*
  • Humans
  • Motor Skills
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Restraint, Physical / methods*