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The influence of different types of toy on reach and grasp for infants with cerebral palsy

Research Scholar

Gardenia Barbosa, postdoctoral researcher, The Ohio State University
Jill Heathcock, faculty mentor


  • Hometown: São Carlos, Brazil
  • Degrees received: Master of Education and PhD in special education, Federal University of São Carlos, Brazil. 

What is the issue or problem addresses in your research?

Cerebral palsy (CP) is a common condition that can severely affect children physically, cognitively and socially. Children with CP seem to benefit from daily rehabilitation, however, no systematic study has been performed to demonstrate the most appropriate dose. Two variables are important to consider: 1) the effect of frequency-response to motor, cognitive and social domains 2) if therapeutic effects in these domains can be maintained over time.

What methodology did you use in your research?

This study is a prospective randomized controlled trial (RCT) of 6- to 24-month-old children with a diagnosis or are at risk for a diagnosis of CP. A total of 75 infants will be recruited for this study with a Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) level of III-V, or equivalent, to determine the effect of three different physiotherapy intervention doses. Gross Motor Function Measure (GMFM)-88 is our primary outcome measure followed by Bayley Scales of Infant Development-III.

What are the purpose/rationale and implications of your research?

The purpose of this study will be to compare the effects of three frequency levels of therapy, concentrated daily, intermediate and usual weekly in children with CP.