Category Archives: Treatments and Therapies

Study: The Family Dog Could Help Boost Physical Activity for Kids with Disabilities

Michelle Klampe

Via Oregon State University

The family dog could serve as a partner and ally in efforts to help children with disabilities incorporate more physical activity into their daily lives, a new study from Oregon State University indicates.

In a case study of one 10-year-old boy with cerebral palsy and his family’s dog, researchers found the intervention program led to a wide range of improvements for the child, including physical activity as well as motor skills, quality of life and human-animal interactions.

“These initial findings indicate that we can improve the quality of life for children with disabilities, and we can get them to be more active,” said Megan MacDonald, an assistant professor in OSU’s College of Public Health and Human Sciences and corresponding author on the study. “And in this case, both are happening simultaneously, which is fantastic.”

The researchers detailed the child’s experience in the adapted physical activity intervention program in a case study just published in the journal Animals. Co-authors are Monique Udell of the OSU College of Agricultural Sciences; Craig Ruaux of the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine; Samantha Ross of the OSU College of Public Health and Human Sciences; Amanda Tepfer of Norwich University and Wendy Baltzer of Massey University in New Zealand. The research was supported by the Division of Health Sciences at OSU.

Children with physical disabilities such as cerebral palsy spend significantly less time participating in physical activity compared to their peers and are considered a health disparity group, meaning they generally face more health concerns than their peers.

Researchers designed an adapted physical activity, animal-assisted intervention where the family dog would serve as a partner with the child in physical activities designed to help improve overall physical activity, motor skills and quality of life. The family dog is a good choice for this type of intervention because the animal is already known to the child and there is an existing relationship – and both the dog and the child will benefit from the activities, MacDonald said.

READ THE FULL STORY HERE

Serious Video Games May Improve Touch, Hand Sensitivity in CP Children

Joana Fernandes, PHD

Children with cerebral palsy (CP) may improve their touch and hand sensitivity by playing “serious video games,” according to a small study. More studies are necessary, however, to confirm this finding.

The study is part of a PhD project conducted by David Hobbs from Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia.

Most treatments for CP patients try to exercise muscles throughout the body and improve muscle stiffness, movement control, and posture so patients can be independent while doing daily activities, such as feeding or dressing. However, exercise therapies can sometimes feel like work, and kids with CP may quickly lose their interest and engagement.

READ THE FULL STORY AT CEREBRAL PALSY NEWS TODAY

Aquatic Movement Therapy Seen to Stimulate Brain Activity and Improve Well-Being of CP Patients

By Joana Fernandes, PHD

Assisted aquatic movement therapy may improve the mental health and stimulate the brains of children and adults with cerebral palsy (CP), according to a new study.

The study, “Effects Of Assisted Aquatic Movement And Horseback Riding Therapies On Emotion And Brain Activation In Patients With Cerebral Palsy,” was published in The Journal of Physical Therapy Science.

Previous studies have shown that assisted movement therapies decrease muscle stiffness and improve movement in CP patients, as well as bringing psychological benefits. But studies showing the relationship between therapeutic interventions and patients’ emotional and cognitive response to them are still lacking.

Read more at Cerebral Palsy News Today

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