A randomised controlled trial to compare two methods of constraint-induced movement therapy to improve functional ability in the affected upper limb in pre-school children with hemiplegic cerebral palsy: CATCH TRIAL

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Objective: To determine the feasibility and short-termefficacy of caregiver-directed constraint-induced movement therapy to improveupper limb function in young children with hemiplegic cerebral palsy.


Design: Randomized controlled trial with masked assessment.


Setting: Community paediatric therapy services.


Subjects: Pre-school children with hemiplegic cerebralpalsy.


Interventions: Caregiver-directed constraint-inducedmovement therapy administered using either 24-hour short-arm restraint device(prolonged) or intermittent holding restraint during therapy (manual).


Main measures: Primary measures include Assisting Hand Assessment (AHA) at 10 weeks. Secondary measures include adverse events,Quality of Upper Extremity Skills Test and Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory.Feasibility measures include recruitment, retention, data completeness and adherence.


Results: About 62/81 (72%) of eligible patients in 16centres were randomized (prolonged restraint n = 30; manual restraint n = 32)with 97% retention at 10 weeks. The mean change at 10 weeks on the AHAlogit-based 0–100 unit was 9.0 (95% confidence interval (CI): 5.7, 12.4;P < 0.001) for prolonged restraint and 5.3 (95% CI: 1.3, 9.4; P = 0.01) formanual restraint with a mean group difference of 3.7 (95% CI: −1.5, 8.8;P = 0.156) (AHA smallest detectable difference = 5 units). No serious relatedadverse events were reported. There were no differences in secondary outcomes.More daily therapy was delivered with prolonged restraint (60 vs 30 minutes;P < 0.001). AHA data were complete at baseline and 10 weeks.


Conclusion: Caregiver-directed constraint-induced movement therapy is feasible and associated with improvement in upper limb function at 10 weeks. More therapy was delivered with prolonged than with manual restraint,warranting further testing of this intervention in a longer term trial


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
JournalClinical Rehabilitation
Early online date19 Mar 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 19 Mar 2018


  • Hemiplegic cerebral palsy, constraint induced movement therapy, upper limb rehabilitation, therapy, randomised controlled trial