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Individualized, home-based interactive training of cerebral palsy children delivered through the Internet

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Author(s): Bilde Peder | Kliim-Due Mette | Rasmussen Betina | Petersen Line | Petersen Tue | Nielsen Jens

Journal: BMC Neurology
ISSN 1471-2377

Volume: 11;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 32;
Date: 2011;
Original page

ABSTRACT
Abstract Background The available health resources limit the amount of therapy that may be offered to children with cerebral palsy and the amount of training in each session may be insufficient to drive the neuroplastic changes, which are necessary for functional improvements to take place. The aim of this pilot study was to provide proof of concept that individualized and supervised interactive home-based training delivered through the internet may provide an efficient way of maintaining intensive training of children with cerebral palsy over prolonged periods. Methods 9 children (aged 9-13 years) with cerebral palsy were included in the study. Motor, perceptual and cognitive abilities were evaluated before and after 20 weeks of home-based training delivered through the internet. Results The children and their families reported great enthusiasm with the training system and all experienced subjective improvements in motor abilities and self-esteem. The children on average trained for 74 hours during a 20 week period equalling just over 30 minutes per day. Significant improvements in functional muscle strength measured as the frontal and lateral step-up and sit-to-stand tests were observed. Assessment of Motor and processing skills also showed significant increases. Endurance measured as the Bruce test showed a significant improvement, whereas there was no significant change in the 6 min walking test. Balance (Romberg) was unchanged. Visual perceptual abilities increased significantly. Conclusions We conclude that it is feasible to deliver interactive training of children with cerebral palsy at home through the internet and thereby ensure more intensive and longer lasting training than what is normally offered to this group.

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