Constraint-induced Movement Therapy

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Constraint-induced movement therapy (CIMT), is an innovative, scientifically supported method of upper extremity rehabilitation for children with neuromotor impairments. CIMT is gaining increased support and emerging as a best practice in the treatment of children with hemiplegia. CIMT involves constraint of the non-affected upper extremity in combination with intensive therapy.

What is the CIMT Program?

The CIMT program consists of three weeks of intensive outpatient occupational therapy services - five days per week, three hours per day - at the Shaker Campus of Cleveland Clinic Children's. The child's non-affected upper extremity is placed in a cast, and he or she is expected to perform all self-care tasks and fine-motor tasks using the affected upper extremity during the program. A consistent family member/caregiver is expected to attend the program with the child.

What are the goals of CIMT?

CIMT has four goals:

  • To facilitate more spontaneous use of the affected upper extremity
  • To improve quality of movement of the affected upper extremity
  • To increase overall functional use of the affected upper extremity
  • To improve quality of life skills

Who may benefit from CIMT?

Three groups of pediatric patients may benefit from CIMT:

  • Children with a clinical presentation of upper extremity hemiplegia who can initiate and move that upper extremity
  • Children who are able to follow directions and work in intensive therapy
  • Children whose parents/caregivers are able to dedicate time to the program

Contact Us

For more information or to refer a patient, please contact Sue Gara, OTR/L, Occupational Therapy Manager and CIMT Program Coordinator, at 216.448.6154.