Presentation (Project) Title

PLAY (Protecting Little Adolescent and Youth) Hand Glove for Children with Cerebral Palsy

Mentor Information

Stephanie Carey (College of Engineering) & Michele Hicks (School of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences)

Presentation Format

Event

Abstract

Cerebral Palsy (CP) is the most common motor disability for children worldwide. It occurs due to abnormal brain development of the vertebral cortex, often during prenatal growth. Children with this condition suffer from inhibited muscle tone and movement, causing involuntary reflexes, visual and gait impairments, and difficulties in hand and arm use. Specific to the hands, CP causes incoordination, incomplete finger dissociation, spasticity, and muscular hypertonicity. This makes early therapeutic intervention crucial to developing life-sustaining skills. Proprioceptive input is critical for functional and intentional movement, so the position and control of the hand is essential for overall motor function. The purpose of our intervention is to provide children with a structured hand orthosis with integrated features for breathability, durability, protection, and attractiveness. The goal is to combine functional components with personal features to improve child engagement and therapeutic retainment. Additional considerations include Velcro attachments for practice with daily-use items at varying abilities, and a side closure for ease of donning and cleansing for the caretaker. Our goals to continue research are to create a customer discovery survey to gather more information on the true needs of those with cerebral palsy and their caretakers. We would also like to develop a device assessment survey and integrate pressure sensors into the glove to log contact forces during spastic movement, testing the efficacy of its protective elements. We believe if we continue pursuing an improved approach to current therapeutic models, children with this disability will experience increased autonomy and quality of life.

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PLAY (Protecting Little Adolescent and Youth) Hand Glove for Children with Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral Palsy (CP) is the most common motor disability for children worldwide. It occurs due to abnormal brain development of the vertebral cortex, often during prenatal growth. Children with this condition suffer from inhibited muscle tone and movement, causing involuntary reflexes, visual and gait impairments, and difficulties in hand and arm use. Specific to the hands, CP causes incoordination, incomplete finger dissociation, spasticity, and muscular hypertonicity. This makes early therapeutic intervention crucial to developing life-sustaining skills. Proprioceptive input is critical for functional and intentional movement, so the position and control of the hand is essential for overall motor function. The purpose of our intervention is to provide children with a structured hand orthosis with integrated features for breathability, durability, protection, and attractiveness. The goal is to combine functional components with personal features to improve child engagement and therapeutic retainment. Additional considerations include Velcro attachments for practice with daily-use items at varying abilities, and a side closure for ease of donning and cleansing for the caretaker. Our goals to continue research are to create a customer discovery survey to gather more information on the true needs of those with cerebral palsy and their caretakers. We would also like to develop a device assessment survey and integrate pressure sensors into the glove to log contact forces during spastic movement, testing the efficacy of its protective elements. We believe if we continue pursuing an improved approach to current therapeutic models, children with this disability will experience increased autonomy and quality of life.