Upper Limb Movement Measurement Systems for Cerebral Palsy: A Systematic Literature Review Journal Articles uri icon

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  • Quantifying the quality of upper limb movements is fundamental to the therapeutic process of patients with cerebral palsy (CP). Several clinical methods are currently available to assess the upper limb range of motion (ROM) in children with CP. This paper focuses on identifying and describing available techniques for the quantitative assessment of the upper limb active range of motion (AROM) and kinematics in children with CP. Following the screening and exclusion of articles that did not meet the selection criteria, we analyzed 14 studies involving objective upper extremity assessments of the AROM and kinematics using optoelectronic devices, wearable sensors, and low-cost Kinect sensors in children with CP aged 4–18 years. An increase in the motor function of the upper extremity and an improvement in most of the daily tasks reviewed were reported. In the population of this study, the potential of wearable sensors and the Kinect sensor natural user interface as complementary devices for the quantitative evaluation of the upper extremity was evident. The Kinect sensor is a clinical assessment tool with a unique markerless motion capture system. Few authors had described the kinematic models and algorithms used to estimate their kinematic analysis in detail. However, the kinematic models in these studies varied from 4 to 10 segments. In addition, few authors had followed the joint assessment recommendations proposed by the International Society of Biomechanics (ISB). This review showed that three-dimensional analysis systems were used primarily for monitoring and evaluating spatiotemporal variables and kinematic parameters of upper limb movements. The results indicated that optoelectronic devices were the most commonly used systems. The joint assessment recommendations proposed by the ISB should be used because they are approved standards for human kinematic assessments. This review was registered in the PROSPERO database (CRD42021257211).


  • Perez-Pinal, Francisco
  • Francisco-Martínez, Celia
  • Prado-Olivarez, Juan
  • Padilla-Medina, José A
  • Díaz-Carmona, Javier
  • Pérez-Pinal, Francisco J
  • Barranco-Gutiérrez, Alejandro I
  • Martínez-Nolasco, Juan J

publication date

  • November 26, 2021