Functional Independence Measure for Children (WEEFIM)
The information included in the previous posts has been reviewed and is up to date.
Below is a summary of an article that used the Functional Independence Measure for Children as a test and measure during a study with children with cerebral palsy.
Özkan, F. and Zincir, H. (2017). The effect of reflexology upon spasticity and function among children with cerebral palsy who received physiotherapy: Three group randomised trial. Applied Nursing Research, 36, pp.128-134.
The purpose of this study was to look at the effects of reflexology on spasticity in children with cerebral palsy. Reflexology includes applying pressure to certain points on the hands in feet that correspond to different areas of the body including visceral organs. In prior studies, it was found that reflexology improves spasticity, walking, and speech limitations in persons without cerebral palsy and also improves sleep, constipation and saliva production. This study hypothesized that reflexology would reduce spasticity in children with cerebral palsy.
The study comprised of three groups, with 15 children in each group for a total of 45 children. The three groups were the treatment intervention group, the placebo group, and the control group. The treatment group received reflexology and routine treatments of physical therapy. Reflexology was applied to the right and left foot for a total of 20 minutes each. The placebo group received placebo reflexology that consisted of touching of the right and left, no pressure was applied, as well as routing treatments of physical therapy. The control group only received routine treatments of physical therapy. Sessions were performed over a 12 week period with sessions occurring twice a week for a total of 24 sessions.
The outcome measures used in this study included the Child Information Form, Gross Motor Function Measure (GMFM), Modified Ashworth Scale (MAS), Modified Tardieu Scale, Functional Independence Measure for Children (WeeFIM), and Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory (PedsQL). At the conclusion of the study, it was found that there was no statistical difference in the MAS for the three groups. However, there was a statistically significant difference in the Tardieu values for the lower extremities. In conclusion, the results of the study supported the hypothesis that reflexology would reduce lower extremity spasticity in children with cerebral palsy. Reflexology was found to be a safe treatment for the reduction in spasticity and for the improvement in gross motor function when used with traditional physical therapy treatment.
Some strengths of this study included the use of a placebo reflexology group and not just a control group and the variety of outcome measures that were selected. Some weaknesses of this study include the inability to follow up with the children after the trial period was completed. Additionally, the study did not report data for all of the outcome measures. Only pre-application and post-application information was published for the MAS and MTS values. Overall, I believe this study is clinically relevant and can easily be an intervention that is added to current physical therapy treatment plans for children with cerebral palsy in order to decrease spasticity.