Constraint-induced movement therapy in children with unilateral cerebral palsy

This updated Cochrane Intervention Review assessed the effects of constraint-induced movement therapy (CIMT) in the treatmet of the more affected upper limb in children with unilateral (hemiplegic) cerebral palsy.

The review included 36 studies comparing CIMT to a low-dose, high-dose or dose-matched comparison. In total, 1264 children with left hemiplegia (53% male and 47% female), aged between 3 months and 19.8 years (mean age = 5.96 years), took part. CIMT programs lasted between 1 and 10 weeks (average = 4 weeks) and the mean total number of hours of CIMT provided was 137 hours (range = 20 to 504 hours). The most common constraint devises were a mitt/glove or a sling. 

The review authors found some very low to low quality evidence that CIMT resulted in improved bimanual performance and unilateral capacity when compared to a low-dose comparison, but not when compared to a high-dose or dose-matched comparison. Based on the evidence available, CIMT appears to be safe for children with CP. 

Read the full review here.