Neuro-motor development and early intervention


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Title Neuro-motor development and early intervention
Period 03 / 2003 - 11 / 2010
Status Completed
Dissertation Yes
Research number OND1302024
Data Supplier Website BCN


The VIP project is designed for infants with a high risk for the development of cerebral palsy. Recently, it has been demonstrated that the quality of general movements (GM), i.e. complex movements which involve head, trunk and legs, at the age of 2 to 4 months corrected age have a predictive value for further developmental outcome. Definitely abnormal GMs at this age are associated with a high risk for the development of cerebral palsy. The early detection of infants at high risk offers the opportunity for intervention at young age during a phase in which the central nervous system is characterized by high plasticity (Kolb et al 2001). Until now, it is unclear whether early intervention has a beneficial effect on developmental outcome. For the VIP project a new approach, COPCA (Coping with and Caring for infants with neurological dysfunction) was developed. This intervention program is based on recent knowledge in the field of developmental neurophysiology and education. Keywords of the COPCA program are variation, self-initiated motor activity, play, trial and error, focus on parent-infant interaction. The intervention will be carried out by 4 physiotherapists, who are intensively trained in the application of this method. The aim of the intervention is to make COPCA a way of living. The aim of the study is to determine whether the COPCA intervention is effective in improving motor, psychosocial functioning and the autonomy of the child and their parents. To this end, 40 infants with definitely abnormal GMs in the tenth week corrected age will be selected. The children will be recruited from the children born in the AZG and the Martini Hospital Groningen. After randomisation these children will be divided into two groups of 20 children. The experimental group receives the COPCA intervention between the 3rd and 6th month post term. The control group will receive no specific intervention during this period, but follows the normal procedure of the paediatrician. After the age of six months post term, both groups get standard intervention. The effects of the COPCA intervention are determined at both short (during and immediately after intervention) and long term (1 year after the end of the intervention). The evaluation focuses on 3 functional levels: a) neuromotor functioning (Victorine), b) psychosocial functioning, including parent-infant interaction (Cornill), c) neurophysiological parameters of postural control, because postural dysfunction is one of the main motor problems in cerebral palsy (Victorine). To evaluate the application of COPCA in daily life, the intervention will be followed by the means of weekly diaries and video analysis (Cornill). Recordings will be made of both an intervention session and Activities of Daily Living. This process evaluation is a prerequisite for the implementation of COPCA within child physiotherapy and rehabilitation after the end of this project.

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Supervisor Prof.dr. O.F. Brouwer
Supervisor Prof.dr. M. Hadders-Algra
Doctoral/PhD student Dr. C.H. Blauw-Hospers
Doctoral/PhD student Dr. V.B. de Graaf-Peters


D21700 Physiology
D23230 Neurology, otorhinolaryngology, opthalmology
D23361 Neonatology

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