Assessment of manual abilities in children with infantile cerebral palsy
Introduction. Cerebral palsy (CP) is a problem presenting multiple issues and the prevalence of this condition is quite significant. CP risk factors are mainly observed in prematurely born children as well as those affected by complications around the
time of birth or during the period of mother’s pregnancy. Quite frequently CP is manifested by abnormal muscle tone, contractures and deformities, and consequently impaired fine and gross motor functions.
Aim. The study was designed to examine the level of hand function, i.e. fine motor skills and to investigate whether there is a correlation between development of fine motor and gross motor functions.
Material and methods. The study group included 80 children with infantile CP. In the group there were 24 cases with spastic diplegia, 36 with spastic hemiplegia, and 20 with bilateral hemiplegia. During the study the children performed Box and Blocks test, and their parents filled in Manual Ability Classification System (MACS) describing the level of fine motor function development in their children. The children were additionally asked to perform two motor tasks. The first one involved an attempt to assume position on all fours, and the other one checked the ability to assume and maintain standing position.
Results. The best scores in the conducted tests were found in children with CP taking the form of spastic diplegia, and the poorest scores in MACS, Box and Blocks test as well as in motor tasks assessing gross motor function were observed in children with bilateral hemiplegia.
Conclusion. The form of infantile CP affects the level of manual abilities. There is a correlation between the level of gross motor and fine motor functions development.