Review of clinical outcomes of repeated participation in the Helping Hand Program: A modified constraint induced movement therapy for children with Acquired Brain Injuries

The Centre for Leadership in Acquired Brain Injury

Project - Review of clinical outcomes of repeated participation in the Helping Hand Program: A modified constraint induced movement therapy for children with Acquired Brain Injuries

Investigators:

  • Janet Woodhouse
  • Janet Bernstein
  • Nick Reed
  • Kathy Gravel
  • Anna Marie Batelaan
  • Gail Kirkwood
  • Sherri-Ann Stringer
  • Dayna Greenspoon

What was this study about?

Difficulty moving your arm (hemiplegia) can occur as a result of an acquired brain injury and often hinders movement efficiency and impacts your ability to self-care, work and play. The Helping Hand program is a modified Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy (mCIMT) that involves restraining the arm/hand that is stronger and forces intensive practice with the injured arm/hand to promote functional use of that limb. This innovative interdisciplinary therapy group offered annually to 8-12 clients, 4-18 years of age, has demonstrated positive changes in occupational performance and upper arm function in clients who have attended the program for one trial.

What did we do?

With consent, the outcomes of 13 children and youth who participated in the multiple trials of the Helping Hand program were entered in a Research Ethic Board approved Database and results were analyzed.

Impact for clients, families and clinical practice

This project provides evidence to support Helping Hand as an effective therapy for children with arm movement difficulty following a brain injury. The results demonstrate participation in the Helping Hand contributes to positive changes in arm/hand function and in the ability to participate in everyday activities.This unique group program supports the goals of client’s and their families in the promotion of involved arm/hand use in everyday activities.

What did we learn?

The study informed us that there is improved arm/hand function and improved functional performance in daily activities with repeat participation in the program.

Next steps

This project will contribute to evidence for the use of mCIMT group programming in the field of paediatric acquired brain injury rehabilitation. The findings of the project will be shared with families, clinicians and researchers working in the field of acquired brain injury through presentations at local, national and international conferences. For example, this project will be shared at the Brain Injury Network 2016 Conference and the team will be submitting a paper for publication in a peer-reviewed journal.