What are the aims of a CIMT program?
CIMT is not expected to result in normal movement. Instead, it aims at increasing the hand and arm movement and improving the quality and effectiveness of movement.
Where else is CIMT delivered?
Dr Pavlina Psychouli is certified CI therapist by Prof. E. Taub’s team (University of Birmingham in Alabama, USA). She is the only certified CI therapist in Greece and one of the very few in Europe.
Could I take part in a less intensive program?
The program that we offer is based on numerous research studies that have concluded that this is the most effective treatment combination. However, research is ongoing and several modified programs are also suggested. Thorough evaluation and discussion with our therapists team will guide you towards the most appropriate program for you.
Can I take the mitt/ splint off?
Yes you can, if it gets wet or dirty and you should quickly replace it with the second one you will have been given. Up until this moment, there is no record of sudden incidents that require direct removal of the mitt/ splint.
Can I take part in a CIMT program while working/ going to school?
Yes, as long as you keep in mind that the mitt/ splint cannot be taken off throughout the day. Because of this and the intensive nature of CI therapy, the suggested treatment period is during vacations.
Should I repeat CI treatment in the future?
We offer 2-week brush up programs for patients that have participated in CI therapy, usually within 6 months to 1 year from initial treatment. Thorough evaluation by a CI therapist will determine whether repetition of CI treatment may be beneficial for you. Repetition can be offered only in patients that adhered to the program’s requirements in the first place. This can be discussed in detail with your therapist before initial participation in CIMT.
Can my child swim while wearing the splint?
Yes, we recommend that parents purchase a splint protector prior to the program. We will provide you with more details about this following the initial assessment and before a program is booked.
Do I affect my child’s skill acquisition?
The most important role for you is to support your child while wearing the splint to continuously practice with the affected hand. Your input is as important as the treatment taking place at the clinic. Your involvement may differentiate the effects of treatment between a life changing experience for your child and a short-term improvement.
Where does CIMT take place?
Our CIMT program is delivered at clinic (Athens, Greece or Nicosia, Cyprus) but can also be home-based, depending on therapists’ availability.
Could I get similar effects by attending a traditional physical/ occupational therapy program?
CIMT results in large improvements in hand function. Effectiveness mostly originates by the intensive nature of CIMT and the combination of treatment techniques that have been proved to produce a large “rewiring” of the brain; that is, after treatment, more of the brain works to move the weaker arm than before therapy. A traditional physical/ occupational therapy program that uses similar treatment techniques might be effective but would require a much longer period to bring about the same magnitude of improvements.
Is the mitt/ splint necessary?
Yes, the mitt/ splint serves as a reminder to use the affected arm and hand throughout the day. This results in impressive changes in the amount of spontaneous hand use, which is directly linked to brain changes that occur as a result of the intensive hand practice. The mitt/ splint is requested to be used for almost the whole day, 7 days a week for the total duration of the 2 or 3 week program. The pediatric splint is taken off by the therapist every 2-3 days to check for skin integrity and is put directly back on.
Is family/ friends assistance necessary during the CIMT program?
Due to restraining of the unaffected arm and hand throughout the day, balancing reactions might be limited, while assistance may be needed to complete bilateral activities.
Is CIMT effectiveness dependent on the time interval since the initial insult?
CI therapy has been shown to be effective at any age group, in acute or chronic phase after a brain insult. It should be noted though that improvements are relevant to the pre-treatment functional level, which may deteriorate as the time passes from initial insult.
How should I expect my child to react to splint wearing?
Most children react well although it is very possible that they may insist on removal of the splint during the first 2 or 3 days. Few children, mainly the very young ones may show frustration during splint construction but application has been managed well in all cases.
Should I stay for my child’s therapy sessions?
Yes, as a caregiver you will be asked questions regarding your child’s skills and activities while at home. Leaving therapy sessions for a while is acceptable but even when you child is old enough (over 10 years of age) to respond on their own to questions, still your input is considered essential. It is very important that you observe how your child behaves in activities at the clinical setting to be prepared as to what you should expect at home.