Effect of Physical Guidance on Learning a Tracking Task in Children with Cerebral Palsy
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AuthorNobari, Hadi; Azimzadeh, Elham; Hassanlouei, Hamidollah; Badicu, Georgian; Pérez Gómez, Jorge; Paolo Ardigò, Luca
Physical guidanceTracking taskCerebral palsyChallenge point frameworkFrequency
Nobari, H.; Azimzadeh, E.; Hassanlouei, H.; Badicu, G.; Pérez-Gómez, J.; Ardigò, L.P. Effect of Physical Guidance on Learning a Tracking Task in Children with Cerebral Palsy. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 7136. https:// doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18137136
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of physical guidance (PG) frequency on learning a tracking task in children with hemiplegic spastic cerebral palsy (CP). For this purpose, 25 children, aged 7–15 years with CP affecting the left side of the body, who were classified in levels II–III of Manual Abilities Classification System (MACS) and levels III–IV of Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS), were recruited from 10 clinical centers. A pre-test including two blocks of 12 trials of the tracking task without any PG was performed by all participants, after that they were assigned into five homogenous groups (with 100%, 75%, 50%, 25%, and 0% of PG) through blocked randomization according to their age. All participants involved in an intervention consisted of eight sessions (four blocks of 12 trials in each session) practicing a tracking task. The 0% PG group received no PG, the 25% PG group received PG for three trials, the 50% PG group received PG for six trials, the 75% PG group received PG for nine trials, and the 100% PG group received PG for all twelve trials. PG consisted of placing the experimenter’s hand around the child’s less-involved hand guiding to stay on the track and complete the task. Learning was inferred by acquisition and delayed retention tests. The results showed that the higher frequency of PG led to more accurate performance during practice phase. However, the group that received 75% PG had significantly better performance compared to the other groups in the retention phase. It is concluded that optimum level of PG, about 75% of trials, can be helpful for learning a tracking task in children with spastic hemiplegic CP, supporting the challenge point framework.