Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Change the environment, not the child

18.08.2011
National study finds equal benefit for children with cerebral palsy

A successful new rehabilitation approach to treating children with cerebral palsy puts its focus on where a child lives and plays, not just improving the child's balance, posture and movement skills.

Called a "context-focused intervention", McMaster University and the University of Alberta researchers report in a new study this approach is just as beneficial as traditional child-focused therapy, offering parents an additional treatment option for their child.

The McMaster study, in conjunction with researchers at the University of Alberta's Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine and Alberta Health Services in Calgary, is the first randomized trial to examine the effects of therapy focused on changing a child's task or environment, not the child. It appeared in the July issue of the medical journal Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology.

Context-focused and child-focused therapies were evaluated in a randomized controlled trial of 128 children with cerebral palsy ranging in age from one year to almost six year old. The children, from 19 different rehabilitation centres in Ontario and Alberta, received one of the two approaches for six months. Therapy was provided by occupational therapists and physical therapists. Between assessments at six and nine months, they returned to their regular therapy schedule.

Researchers found that while both groups improved significantly over the study, there were "no significant differences in daily functioning" between the two treatment groups, reported lead author Mary Law, professor in McMaster's School of Rehabilitation Science and co-founder of the university's CanChild Centre for Childhood Disability Research.

Cerebral palsy is caused by damage in the brain before or just after birth that results in problems with muscle tone and movement, and impacts ability to perform everyday activities. More than 50,000 Canadians have cerebral palsy, which occurs in about two of 1,000 babies.

During the study, parents in both groups received general information and education about their child's disability as well as specific strategies to practice at home.

In the child-focused approach, therapists identified the underlying impairment – tone, posture, range of motion – and provided therapy to improve the child's skills and abilities.

Emphasis in the context therapy approach was on changing the task or environment. For example, one parent's goal was for their child to finger-feed himself Cheerios independently. The therapist experimented with putting peanut butter on the tips of his fingers so that the Cheerios would stick to it. The child was successful in one intervention session, even though he did not have the fine grasp to pick them up without it. Having experienced success, the child went on to be able to finger feed Cheerios by himself.

"This study provides evidence that each intervention approach yields equivalent important change after a six-month intervention," Law said. "We also found no difference between the therapy approaches for the outcome of parent empowerment."

If both approaches are equally effective, Law said therapists and families are able to discuss the treatment approach that best fits the intervention goals for their child and their family situation.

Law is co-author in a second article in the same journal, describing the context-focused approach with lead author Johanna Darrah, a professor of physical therapy in the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine at the University of Alberta. Darrah said the experience with context therapy was positive: "The benefits of working in the child's natural environment were striking."

Darrah added researchers found this approach was more challenging with children who have a severe disability, as some therapists felt that by not providing hands-on treatment, the approach is not true therapy. However, the study found that the context approach was equally effective for children with mild or severe cerebral palsy.

The study was supported by a grant from the National Institutes of Health in the United States and the Alberta Centre for Child Family and Community Research. Mary Law holds the John and Margaret Lillie Chair in Childhood Disability Research.

Veronica McGuire | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.mcmaster.ca

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Drought hits rivers first and more strongly than agriculture
06.09.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biogeochemie

nachricht Landslides triggered by human activity on the rise
23.08.2018 | European Geosciences Union

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Hygiene at your fingertips with the new CleanHand Network

The Fraunhofer FEP has been involved in developing processes and equipment for cleaning, sterilization, and surface modification for decades. The CleanHand Network for development of systems and technologies to clean surfaces, materials, and objects was established in May 2018 to bundle the expertise of many partnering organizations. As a partner in the CleanHand Network, Fraunhofer FEP will present the Network and current research topics of the Institute in the field of hygiene and cleaning at the parts2clean trade fair, October 23-25, 2018 in Stuttgart, at the booth of the Fraunhofer Cleaning Technology Alliance (Hall 5, Booth C31).

Test reports and studies on the cleanliness of European motorway rest areas, hotel beds, and outdoor pools increasingly appear in the press, especially during...

Im Focus: Scientists present new observations to understand the phase transition in quantum chromodynamics

The building blocks of matter in our universe were formed in the first 10 microseconds of its existence, according to the currently accepted scientific picture. After the Big Bang about 13.7 billion years ago, matter consisted mainly of quarks and gluons, two types of elementary particles whose interactions are governed by quantum chromodynamics (QCD), the theory of strong interaction. In the early universe, these particles moved (nearly) freely in a quark-gluon plasma.

This is a joint press release of University Muenster and Heidelberg as well as the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt.

Then, in a phase transition, they combined and formed hadrons, among them the building blocks of atomic nuclei, protons and neutrons. In the current issue of...

Im Focus: Patented nanostructure for solar cells: Rough optics, smooth surface

Thin-film solar cells made of crystalline silicon are inexpensive and achieve efficiencies of a good 14 percent. However, they could do even better if their shiny surfaces reflected less light. A team led by Prof. Christiane Becker from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) has now patented a sophisticated new solution to this problem.

"It is not enough simply to bring more light into the cell," says Christiane Becker. Such surface structures can even ultimately reduce the efficiency by...

Im Focus: New soft coral species discovered in Panama

A study in the journal Bulletin of Marine Science describes a new, blood-red species of octocoral found in Panama. The species in the genus Thesea was discovered in the threatened low-light reef environment on Hannibal Bank, 60 kilometers off mainland Pacific Panama, by researchers at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama (STRI) and the Centro de Investigación en Ciencias del Mar y Limnología (CIMAR) at the University of Costa Rica.

Scientists established the new species, Thesea dalioi, by comparing its physical traits, such as branch thickness and the bright red colony color, with the...

Im Focus: New devices based on rust could reduce excess heat in computers

Physicists explore long-distance information transmission in antiferromagnetic iron oxide

Scientists have succeeded in observing the first long-distance transfer of information in a magnetic group of materials known as antiferromagnets.

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

"Boston calling": TU Berlin and the Weizenbaum Institute organize a conference in USA

21.09.2018 | Event News

One of the world’s most prominent strategic forums for global health held in Berlin in October 2018

03.09.2018 | Event News

4th Intelligent Materials - European Symposium on Intelligent Materials

27.08.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Small modulator for big data

25.09.2018 | Information Technology

NASA's Terra Satellite glares at the 37-mile wide eye of Super Typhoon Trami

25.09.2018 | Earth Sciences

Rice U. study sheds light on -- and through -- 2D materials

25.09.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>