Journal of Applied Science and Engineering

Published by Tamkang University Press


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Phuong Chu Minh This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.1, Truong Nguyen Xuan1, Truong Dang Van1, and Duc Nguyen Minh1,2

1Hanoi University of Science and Technology, 1st Dai Co Viet St., Hai Ba Trung, Hanoi, Vietnam
2University of Sydney, Camperdown NSW 2006, Australia


Received: February 9, 2021
Accepted: May 18, 2021
Publication Date: June 23, 2021

 Copyright The Author(s). This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are cited.

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Children with Cerebral Palsy (CP) suffer from movement and posture disorders leading to reduced range of motion and weak muscle which heavily affects their daily life activities. Children with CP who join rehabilitation programs as early as 2 years old have increasing chances of improving motion functions, muscle strength and reducing complications. However, the current exercises are not attractive enough to preschool-aged children leading to reduced therapy’s efficiency. In this study, a design of two interactive toys and an open, rule-free 2-D game theme was proposed to support upper limb rehabilitation for 2-to-5-year-old children. The two toys, a stuffed stick with an inertial measurement unit (IMU) and a glove with force sensors and a ball, were supposed to both involve and track children’s shoulder flexion and horizontal abduction movements, and grip strength through children’s tendency of swinging a stick or squeezing a ball. These movements will interact with the game to entertain children, encouraging them to repeat movements desired for rehabilitation. The prototype was tested on four 2-to-3-year-old Children with CP at Quang Ninh Obstetrics and Pediatrics Hospital in 5 days. The results show that Children with CP reacted positively to the stick and the shoulder abduction performance improved from 70° of swinging degrees to 100° or more on day 5. The glove, although it was not as attractive to children, also showed improvements of 80-90 grams or 1 Newton in the grip strength. This shows that the proposed solution was feasible and capable of keeping small children entertaining to repeat movements for function rehabilitation in a long period. According to our knowledge, this is also the first study designed specifically for preschool-aged children.

Keywords: Cerebral palsy, Early rehabilitation, Shoulder flexion, Shoulder abduction, Grip strength


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