Abstract of D. Green lecture


D. Green1, D. Owen2, A. Moore3, R. McDougall4, Y. Farquharson2
1 Tel Aviv University, Israel; 2 GSTT Charity, UK; 3 Evelina Children's Hospital,

Introduction. Many therapeutic programmes for children need
significant repetition, particularly motor learning programmes which
require considerable practice to acquire a new ability. This may result
in reduced compliance with therapy programmes. The practicalities of
providing intensive intervention tend to be prohibitive and mechanisms
to engage a child’s interest and motivation to pursue exercises need
to be explored. Objectives. This paper will report on a project
designed to improve the experience of participation in therapeutic
programmes for children with spastic hemiplegia by incorporating
magic hand tricks – prestidigitation. Methods. Movement exercises
designed as 'magic' tricks were provided by therapists in consultation
with professional magicians. A pilot project was run (n=9) followed by
a larger clinical trial (n=23). Children in the pilot study reported finding
the tasks challenging but fun and parents reported that they were
motivated to practice. The clinical trial showed improvements in
movement skills after 60 hours of intervention (2-week summer camp)
with preliminary results showing significant differences in number of
activities performed independently and number of activities performed
successfully with two hands following treatment. The results of these
two projects will be reported and demonstrated to consider the
feasibility of ‘magic’ to promote motivation and compliance in
therapeutic rehabilitation and enhance motor skills. Conclusion:
Preliminary results suggest that children with motor disorders, find
practicing magic hand tricks fun with some measurable changes in
skill. Further research is required to consider methods of delivery and
determine benefits across other disorders and/or patient groups.

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