Validation of reaching in a virtual environment in typically developing children and children with mild unilateral cerebral palsy.

TitleValidation of reaching in a virtual environment in typically developing children and children with mild unilateral cerebral palsy.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuteursRobert, MT, Levin, MF
JournalDev Med Child Neurol
Volume60
Issue4
Pagination382-390
Date Published2018 04
ISSN1469-8749
KeywordsAdolescent, Biomechanical Phenomena, Cerebral Palsy, Child, Environment, Female, Functional Laterality, Humans, Male, Movement, Psychomotor Performance, Range of Motion, Articular, Severity of Illness Index, Upper Extremity, User-Computer Interface
Abstract

AIM: To compare three reaching movements made in two planes between a low-cost, game-based virtual reality and a matched physical environment in typically developing children and children with cerebral palsy (CP). To determine if differences in kinematics are related to sensory deficits.METHOD: An observational study in which 27 children (typically developing, n=17, mean age 13y, [SD] 2y 2mo, range 9y 3mo-17y 2mo; CP, n=10, mean age 13y 8mo, [SD] 1y 8mo, range 11y 1mo-17y 1mo, Manual Ability Classification System levels I-II) performed 15 trials of three gestures in each of a virtual reality and a matched physical environment. Upper-limb and trunk kinematics were recorded using an electromagnetic system (G4, Polhemus, six markers, 120Hz).RESULTS: Compared to the physical environment, movements in virtual reality made by typically developing children were slower (p=0.002), and involved less trunk flexion (p=0.002) and rotation (p=0.026). Children with CP had more curved trajectories (p=0.005) and used less trunk flexion (p=0.003) and rotation (p=0.005). Elbow and shoulder kinematics differed from 2.8% to 155.4% between environments in both groups. Between groups, there were small, clinically insignificant differences with only the vertical gesture being longer in typically developing children. Children with CP who had greater tactile impairment used more trunk displacement.INTERPRETATION: Clinicians and researchers need to be aware of differences in movement variables when setting goals or designing protocols for improving reaching in children with CP using low-cost, game-based virtual reality systems.WHAT THIS PAPER ADDS: Upper-limb kinematics differed in each group when reaching in physical versus virtual environments. There were small differences in movements made by children with mild unilateral cerebral palsy (CP) compared to typically developing children. Differences in reaching kinematics should be considered when goal setting using virtual reality interventions for children with mild unilateral CP.

DOI10.1111/dmcn.13688
Alternate JournalDev Med Child Neurol
PubMed ID29427357