Home-based behavioural therapy effective for children with complex motor stereotypies
Home-based behavioural therapy, administered by parents with over-the-phone assistance with a therapist, effectively reduces complex motor stereotypies (CMS) in children, a new study has found.
The study included 38 children. The corresponding families received video and written instructions, and had scheduled telephone contacts with a therapist at baseline, and at 1, 3 and 8 weeks later. Outcome scales included the Stereotypy Severity Scale (SSS) and the Stereotypy Linear Analogue Scale (SLAS).
At the end of the study period, 14 children were lost to follow-up. The remaining 24 (mean age 5.96±0.81 years) comprised the intention-to-treat cohort, in which there were significant reductions from baseline in the mean Motor (10.67±1.88 to 8.21±1.91 points; p<0.001) and Impairment (17.50±11.51 to 12.08±8.84; p=0.001) subscale scores in the SSS at the final follow-up assessment.
Notably, researchers also showed progressive improvement over time. For example, scores in the SSS Motor scale dropped from 10.67±1.88 at baseline to 10.17±2.10 and 9.00±2.43 at the second and third phone call follow-ups, respectively, before reaching the final value.
The same was true for scores in the SSS Impairment scale: findings decreased from 17.50±11.51 at baseline to 16.09±10.33 and 13.91±9.41 at the second and third phone calls, respectively.
Nineteen parents completed the post-treatment evaluation of the intervention and reported having watched the video a mean of 2.16±0.83 times. All respondents (100 percent; n=19) found the video useful and would recommend it to others.
“Although only confirmed in a younger population, we would now advocate for the use of a combined home-based therapist-assisted therapy for all age groups,” said researchers.