Original Research

The effect of upper extremity weight bearing on upper extremity function in children with hemiplegic type of cerebral palsy

P. Jayaraman, T. Puckree
South African Journal of Physiotherapy | Vol 66, No 1 | a58 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajp.v66i1.58 | © 2010 P. Jayaraman, T. Puckree | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 06 January 2010 | Published: 06 January 2010

About the author(s)

P. Jayaraman, Department of Physiotherapy, University of KwaZulu Natal.
T. Puckree, Department of Physiotherapy, University of KwaZulu Natal.

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The main objective of this study was to quantify the effects ofweight bearing on upper limb function in children with hemiplegic cerebralpalsy. This study also sought to monitor the change in spasticity immediatelyfollowing weight bearing exercises. A  quasi-experimental, one group pre-test,post-test design was used. Eleven children with hemiplegic type of cerebral palsyfrom a special school in KwaZulu Natal participated after fully informed consentof the caretaking guardian. The intervention consisted of a standardized programof weight bearing. The Melbourne A ssessment of Upper Extremity function wasused to quantify upper extremity function of reach, grasp and manipulation and the modified A shworth grading of spasticity was used to grade and monitor spasticity. The data was analysed using the Wilcoxon signed rank test.  A  significant decrease in spasticity during elbow extension (p= 0,004), wrist flexion (p=0,026) and extension (p=0,004)was noted. Statistically significant improvement in function, reach (p=0, 00), grasp (p=0, 02) manipulation (p=0, 05)and overall quality of function (p= 0,003) was also found. A n overall significant effect of weight bearing exercises onupper extremity function was noted providing evidence for practice.


cerebral palsy; reach; grasp; manipulation; melbourne assessment.


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