Current trends in splinting the hand for children with neurological impairments.
Hepworth, Lauren Michelle.
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Aim: The study aimed to explore the current splinting practises as used as a method of intervention for improving hand function in children with neurological impairments within the South African context. Methodology: A quantitative cross-sectional design using an electronic selfadministered questionnaire was utilised in order to address the objectives of this study. The sample included Occupational therapists working within the paediatric neurological field in South Africa. The study sample was collected through convenience and snowball sampling in order to target therapists specifically working in the area of paediatric neurology. Results and Discussion: Forty therapists completed the survey in its entirety. Therapists splint for various reasons and are in agreement that splints can be effective in neurological cases. The 3 most prevalent splints are the functional resting, thumb abductor and anti-spasticity splint with therapists mainly splinting to maintain or improve ROM. Conclusions: This study provides an insight into the splinting practices amongst occupational therapists who work with neurologically impaired children. It shows that therapists do choose to splint despite the controversy that surrounds splinting in neurology and that many factors are considered during the decision-making process.