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Pediatr Phys Ther. 2014 Spring;26(1):28-37. doi: 10.1097/PEP.0000000000000008.

Effect of body-scaled information on reaching in children with hemiplegic cerebral palsy: a pilot study.

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Department of Occupational Therapy and Graduate Institute of Behavioral Sciences, Healthy Aging Research Center (Dr Huang), Chang Gung University, Tao-Yuan, Taiwan; Department of Physical Therapy and Athletic Training (Drs Huang, Ellis, and Wagenaar), College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences: Sargent, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts; Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy (Drs Huang and Fetters), University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California; Department of Pediatrics (Dr Fetters), Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California.



This study examined body-scaled information that specifies the reach patterns of children with hemiplegic cerebral palsy and children with typical development.


Nine children with hemiplegic cerebral palsy (3-5 years) and 9 age-matched children with typical development participated in the study. They were required to reach and grasp 10 different pairs of cubes. Reach data were coded as either a 1-handed reach or a 2-handed reach. Dimensionless ratios were calculated by dividing the cube size by the maximal aperture between the index finger and thumb. A critical ratio was used to establish the shift from a 1-handed to an exclusive 2-handed reach.


The critical ratio was not significantly different for either preferred or nonpreferred arms within and between groups. All children used an exclusive 2-handed reach at a similar dimensionless ratio.


Our study provides evidence of the "fit" between environment (cube size) and the individual's capabilities (finger aperture) for reaching for both groups.

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