Temporal-spatial parameters of the upper limb during a Reach & Grasp Cycle for children GAIT & POSTURE Butler, E. E., Ladd, A. L., Lamont, L. E., Rose, J. 2010; 32 (3): 301-306


The objective of this study was to characterize normal temporal-spatial patterns during the Reach & Grasp Cycle and to identify upper limb motor deficits in children with cerebral palsy (CP). The Reach & Grasp Cycle encompasses six sequential tasks: reach, grasp cylinder, transport to self (T(1)), transport back to table (T(2)), release cylinder, and return to initial position. Three-dimensional motion data were recorded from 25 typically developing children (11 males, 14 females; ages 5-18 years) and 12 children with hemiplegic CP (2 males, 10 females; ages 5-17 years). Within-day and between-day coefficients of variation for the control group ranged from 0 to 0.19, indicating good repeatability of all parameters. The mean duration of the Cycle for children with CP was nearly twice as long as controls, 9.5±4.3s versus 5.1±1.2s (U=37.0, P=.002), partly due to prolonged grasp and release durations. Peak hand velocity occurred at approximately 40% of each phase and was greater during the transport (T(1), T(2)) than non-transport phases (reach, return) in controls (P<.001). Index of curvature was lower during transport versus non-transport phases for all children. Children with CP demonstrated an increased index of curvature during reach (U=46.0, P=.0074) and an increased total number of movement units (U=16.5, P<.0001) compared to controls, indicating less efficient and less smooth movements. Total duration of the Reach & Grasp Cycle (rho=.957, P<.0001), index of curvature during reach and T(1) (rho=.873, P=.0002 and rho=.778, P=.0028), and total number of movement units (rho=.907, P<.0001) correlated strongly with MACS score. The consistent normative data and the substantial differences between children with CP and controls reflect utility of the Reach & Grasp Cycle for quantitative evaluation of upper limb motor deficits.

View details for DOI 10.1016/j.gaitpost.2010.05.013

View details for PubMedID 20558067