BMJ Open. 2023 May 11;13(5):e068816. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2022-068816.
OBJECTIVES: To determine the feasibility of an intensive interdisciplinary programme in improving goal and motor outcomes for preschool-aged children with non-progressive neurodisabilities. The primary hypothesis was that the intervention would be feasible.
DESIGN: A single group feasibility study.
SETTING: An Australian paediatric community therapy provider.
PARTICIPANTS: Forty children were recruited. Inclusion criteria were age 2-5 years with a non-progressive neurodisability, Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) levels III-V or equivalent, and goals relating to mobility, communication and upper limb function. Exclusion criteria included orthopaedic surgery in the past 6 months, unstable hip subluxation, uncontrolled seizure disorder or treadmill training in the past month.
INTERVENTION: A goal-directed programme of three 2-hour sessions per week for 4 weeks (24 hours total). This consisted of treadmill and overground walking, communication practice, and upper limb tasks tailored by an interdisciplinary team.
PRIMARY AND SECONDARY OUTCOME MEASURES: Limited-efficacy measures from preintervention (T1) to postintervention (T2) and 4-week follow-up (T3) included the Goal Attainment Scaling (GAS), Canadian Occupational Performance Measure (COPM), Gross Motor Function Measure (GMFM-66) and 10-Metre Walk Test (10MWT). Acceptability, demand, implementation and practicality were also explored.
RESULTS: There were improvements at T2 compared with T1 for all limited-efficacy measures. The GAS improved at T2 (mean difference (MD) 27.7, 95% CI 25.8 to 29.5) as well as COPM performance (MD 3.2, 95% CI 2.8 to 3.6) and satisfaction (MD 3.3, 95% CI 2.8 to 3.8). The GMFM-66 (MD 2.3, 95% CI 1.0 to 3.5) and 10MWT (median difference -2.3, 95% CI -28.8 to 0.0) improved at T2. Almost all improvements were maintained at T3. Other feasibility components were also demonstrated. There were no adverse events.
CONCLUSIONS: An intensive interdisciplinary programme is feasible in improving goal and motor outcomes for preschool children with neurodisabilities (GMFCS III-V or equivalent). A randomised controlled trial is warranted to establish efficacy.
TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: ACTRN12619000064101.
PMID:37169503 | DOI:10.1136/bmjopen-2022-068816
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