Overview: Difficulties with hand function limit independent participation in daily activities for children and youth with cerebral palsy (CP). Given the variety of physical and occupational therapy treatment approaches available, it can be difficult for families to keep up with current research-based recommendations . In this presentation, Dr. Gordon will present an overview of current approaches to the rehabilitation of hand function in children with CP, focusing on constraint-induced movement therapy and hand-arm bimanual intensive therapy. Families will leave with a better understanding of the therapeutic rationale for these approaches and the evidence for their effectiveness at improving children’s functional abilities and participation in activities of daily life.
Dr. Gordon: Dr. Gordon is a professor of Movement Sciences at Columbia University and Director of the Center for Cerebral Palsy Research (http://www.tc.columbia.edu/cit/). The Center consists of a unique team of scientists and clinicians, and is committed to improving the lives of children with CP through research and education, with an emphasis on understanding the mechanisms underlying motor disorders associated with CP, and developing evidence-based treatment approaches targeting these disorders. Dr. Gordon and his team have been studying hand motor control in individuals with cerebral palsy (CP) for over 25 years. From a treatment perspective, he is a pioneer in modifying constraint-induced movement therapy (CIMT) for children with CP. In 2001 he published the first study on modified CIMT in children with unilateral CP. Subsequently in a line of work supported by the National Institute of Health, Dr. Gordon more broadly studied the efficacy of CIMT. His team used CIMT as the basis for creating a highly structured and intensive form of bimanual therapy, Hand-Arm Bimanual Intensive Therapy (HABIT), and have conducted several trials indicating efficacy in improving upper extremity function. Since 2002 more than 300 children with CP have participated in hand treatment day camps at the Center for CP Research.