With the Children with Hemiparesis Arm and Hand Movement Project (CHAMP) multisite factorial randomized controlled trial, we compared 2 doses and 2 constraint types of constraint-induced movement therapy (CIMT) to usual customary treatment (UCT).
CHAMP randomly assigned 118 2- to 8-year-olds with hemiparetic cerebral palsy to one of 5 treatments with assessments at baseline, end of treatment, and 6 months posttreatment. Primary blinded outcomes were the assisting hand assessment; Peabody Motor Development Scales, Second Edition, Visual Motor Integration; and Quality of Upper Extremity Skills Test Dissociated Movement. Parents rated functioning on the Pediatric Evaluation of Disabilities Inventory-Computer Adaptive Test Daily Activities and Child Motor Activity Log How Often scale. Analyses were focused on blinded and parent-report outcomes and rank-order gains across all measures.
Findings varied in statistical significance when analyzing individual blinded outcomes. parent reports, and rank-order gains. Consistently, high-dose CIMT, regardless of constraint type, produced a pattern of greatest short- and long-term gains (1.7% probability of occurring by chance alone) and significant gains on visual motor integration and dissociated movement at 6 months. O’Brien’s rank-order analyses revealed high-dose CIMT produced significantly greater improvement than a moderate dose or UCT. All CIMT groups improved significantly more in parent-reported functioning, compared with that of UCT. Children with UCT also revealed objective gains (eg, 48% exceeded the smallest-detectable assisting hand assessment change, compared with 71% high-dose CIMT at the end of treatment).
CHAMP provides novel albeit complex findings: although most individual blinded outcomes fell below statistical significance for group differences, high-dose CIMT consistently produced the largest improvements at both time points. An unexpected finding concerns shifts in UCT toward higher dosages, with improved outcomes compared with previous reports.