PURPOSE: To assess hand dexterity in children with myelomeningocele (MMC) and to explore factors related to hand dexterity in these children. METHODS: Ninety-four children with myelomeningocele, aged 4 to 18 years, were assessed. Demographic characteristics, disease factors, visual perception (Beery test of Visual Motor Integration), cognition (WeeFunctional Independence Measure), and self-care (Pediatric Evaluation of Disability Inventory) were assessed in relation to the Nine-Hole Peg Test (9HPT) for hand dexterity using Spearmen correlations and linear regressions. RESULTS: The children's performance on the 9HPT in both hands was significantly slower than the norms for their age groups. Children without a shunt showed significantly better function in both hands (p=.005) than those with a shunt. Factors most related to hand dexterity were neurological spinal level of MMC, presence of shunt, age, cognitive ability, and years of mother's education. CONCLUSION: Children with MMC appear to have poorer hand skills than typically developed children, which was related to pathology as well as functional and environmental factors. When addressing hand dexterity in children with MMC, it is important that rehabilitation professionals continue to work with these children as they get older, and put greater emphasis on parent education using materials that are adapted to varying educational levels.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We would like to thank the children and parents who participated in the study, the clinic staff, Coos Wever, Adi Bracha Baron, and Levana Shoshan for assisting with evaluations, and Nurit Tvil for technical assistance. Funding for the study was provided by ALYN Pediatric and Adolescent Rehabilitation Center.
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- Fine motor dexterity
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation