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J Chin Med Assoc. 2011 Jun;74(6):259-66. doi: 10.1016/j.jcma.2011.04.005. Epub 2011 May 7.

The effect of adding a home program to weekly institutional-based therapy for children with undefined developmental delay: a pilot randomized clinical trial.

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Department of Occupational Therapy, Taichung Veterans General Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan, ROC.



Early rehabilitation for children with developmental delay without a defined etiology have included home and clinic programs, but no comparisons have been made and efficacy is uncertain. We compared a weekly visit for institutional-based therapy (IT) to IT plus a structured home activity program (HAP).


Seventy children who were diagnosed with motor or global developmental delay (ages 6-48 months and mean developmental age 12.5 months) without defined etiology were recruited (including 45 males and 23 females). The outcomes included the comprehensive developmental inventory for infants and toddlers test and the pediatric evaluation of disability inventory.


Children who received only IT improved in developmental level by 2.11 months compared with 3.11 months for those who received a combination of IT and HAP (p = 0.000). On all domains of the comprehensive developmental inventory for infants and toddlers test, except for self-help, children who participated in HAP showed greater improvements, including in cognition (p = 0.015), language (p = 0.010), motor (p = 0.000), and social (p = 0.038) domains. Except on the subdomain of self-care with caregiver assistance, the HAP group showed greater improvement in all the pediatric evaluation of disability inventory subdomains (p < 0.05).


Early intervention programs are helpful for these children, and the addition of structured home activity programs may augment the effects on developmental progression.

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