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Time Course of Upper Limb Function in Children with Unilateral Cerebral Palsy: A Five-Year Follow-Up Study

  • Klingels, Katrijn; 41275;
  • Meyer, Sarah; 49722;
  • Mailleux, Lisa; 90112;
  • Simon-Martinez, Cristina; 101573;
  • Hoskens, Jasmine; 72183;
  • Monbaliu, Elegast; 56375;
  • Verheyden, Geert; 29759;
  • Verbeke, Geert; 18341;
  • Molenaers, Guy; 46357;
  • Ortibus, Els; 58503;
  • Feys, Hilde; 18758;
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2018
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Knowledge on long-term evolution of upper limb function in children with unilateral cerebral palsy (CP) is scarce. The objective was to report the five-year evolution in upper limb function and identify factors influencing time trends. Eighty-one children (mean age 9 y and 11 mo, SD 3 y and 3 mo) were assessed at baseline with follow-up after 6 months, 1, and 5 years. Passive range of motion (PROM), tone, muscle, and grip strength were assessed. Activity measurements included Melbourne Assessment, Jebsen-Taylor test, Assisting Hand Assessment (AHA), and ABILHAND-Kids. At 5-year follow-up, PROM (p < 0.001) and AHA scores (p < 0.001) decreased, whereas an improvement was seen for grip strength (p < 0.001), Melbourne Assessment (p = 0.003), Jebsen-Taylor test (p < 0.001), and ABILHAND-Kids (p < 0.001). Age influenced the evolution of AHA scores (p = 0.003), with younger children being stable over time, but from 9 years onward, children experienced a decrease in bimanual performance. Manual Ability Classification System (MACS) levels also affected the evolution of AHA scores (p = 0.02), with stable scores in MACS I and deterioration in MACS II and III. In conclusion, over 5 years, children with unilateral CP develop more limitations in PROM, and although capacity measures improve, the spontaneous use of the impaired limb in bimanual tasks becomes less effective after the age of 9 years. / status: published

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