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Feasibility and effect of home-based therapy programmes for children with cerebral palsy: a protocol for a systematic review
  1. L W M E Beckers1,2,
  2. M L A P Schnackers3,4,
  3. Y J Janssen-Potten1,2,
  4. J Kleijnen5,6,
  5. B Steenbergen3,7
  1. 1Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, School for Public Health and Primary Care (CAPHRI), Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands
  2. 2Adelante, Center of Expertise in Rehabilitation and Audiology, Hoensbroek, The Netherlands
  3. 3Radboud University Nijmegen, Behavioural Science Institute, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
  4. 4Department of Rehabilitation, Radboud University Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
  5. 5School for Public Health and Primary Care (CAPHRI), Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands
  6. 6Kleijnen Systematic Reviews Ltd, York, UK
  7. 7Australian Catholic University, School of Psychology, Melbourne, Australia
  1. Correspondence to L W M E Beckers; laura.beckers{at}


Introduction Given the promising advantages of upper extremity home-based programmes in children with cerebral palsy (CP), a systematic review of the available literature on this topic is warranted. The purpose of the systematic review described in this protocol is to investigate currently available home-based occupational therapy and physiotherapy programmes regarding both their feasibility and effect.

Methods and analysis This protocol describes a systematic review, developed in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis Protocols (PRISMA-P) 2015. Studies will be included in which primary data are collected, participants are children aged <18 years with any type of CP and the intervention of interest is a home-based occupational therapy or physiotherapy intervention. Comparators of interest are: no therapy, care as usual, centre-based occupational therapy or physiotherapy, an alternative home-based programme and a medical intervention. Studies will be included that report either on feasibility (ie, acceptability, demand, implementation, practicality, adaptation, expansion or integration) or on efficacy/effectiveness (ie, child-related upper extremity outcomes within all International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health levels or parent-related/caregiver-related outcomes on the psychological and social domain). Relevant studies will be identified by searching the databases MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, PsycINFO, PEDro, OTSeeker and CPCI-S as well as the trial registers ICTRP and CENTRAL, the reference lists of included records and by circulating a bibliography of the included records to authors of included studies. There will be no restrictions on language or year of publication. The search strategy consists of terms related to the population and intervention. Data will be extracted in duplicate using a digital data extraction form.

Ethics and dissemination The proposed study does not involve collection of primary data. Accordingly, no ethical approval is required. The authors will disseminate the findings of this systematic review through publication in a peer-reviewed journal and conference presentation(s).

Trial registration number CRD42016043743; pre-results.

  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Child
  • Home Care Services
  • Exercise Therapy
  • Upper Extremity
  • Systematic Reviews

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  • MLAPS contributed equally.

  • Contributors LWMEB designed the study protocol and drafted the initial manuscript. LWMEB and JK developed the search strategy. MLAPS, YJJ-P, JK and BS provided critical insights and reviewed the protocol and manuscript, making important intellectual contributions. All authors read and approved the final version.

  • Funding This work was supported by ZonMw (the Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development), grant number 630000001, as part of the research project COAD (Co-creation at hand: The road to independence). The clinical trial that is part of the COAD-project is registered under number NTR5743.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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