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, 15:269

First Online: 07 July 2014Received: 08 May 2014Accepted: 11 June 2014DOI: 10.1186-1745-6215-15-269

Cite this article as: Løhaugen, G.C., Beneventi, H., Andersen, G.L. et al. Trials 2014 15: 269. doi:10.1186-1745-6215-15-269


BackgroundCerebral palsy CP is the most common motor disability in childhood 2 to 3 per 1000 live births, and is frequently accompanied by cognitive impairments and behavioural problems. Children with CP are at increased risk of attention deficit disorder with or without hyperactivity Attention Deficit Disorder ADD-Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder ADHD including working memory deficits. The primary aim of this study is to evaluate if cognitive training may improve working memory in children with CP.

Methods-DesignsThe study is an investigator-blinded, randomized controlled trial with a stepped-wedge design that will include 115 schoolchildren with CP. Eligible for participation are children with CP, aged 7 to 15 years, who are able to follow instructions and handle a computer mouse. Exclusion criteria are the presence of photosensitive epilepsy, Gross Motor Function Classification System GMFCS level V most severe CP Phys Ther 80: 974-985, 2000 and severe visual or hearing impairments. Following assessment of eligibility and baseline cognitive assessment the participants will be randomized to either cognitive working memory training or treatment-as-usual ‘control group’. The intervention is a computer-based working memory training program consisting of 25 daily sessions to be performed over a 5 to 6-week period at home. A neuropsychological assessment will be performed before and 4 to 6 weeks after completed training. When the latter assessment has been completed in the intervention group, the ‘control group’ will start on the same training program. Both groups will meet for a final neuropsychological assessment six months after completed training by an examiner unaware of group adherence.

DiscussionThere is limited evidence for the effect of most interventions in children with CP, and evidence is completely lacking for interventions aiming to improve deficits in cognition, learning and behaviour. The proposed multicenter study, will bring forth comprehensive information about cognitive, neuropsychological, and daily-life functioning in children with CP aged between 7 and 15 years. In addition, the study will be the first to evaluate the effects of an intervention method to improve working memory in children with CP. If successful, computer-based working memory training may represent an efficient and cost-effective intervention for this group of children.

Trial Identifier: NCT02119364

KeywordsCerebral Palsy CP Cognitive intervention Working memory training Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1745-6215-15-269 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Autor: Gro CC Løhaugen - Harald Beneventi - Guro L Andersen - Cato Sundberg - Heidi Furre Østgård - Ellen Bakkan - Geir Walt


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