Development of a Digital Toolkit for Objective Assessment of Movement in Children with Cerebral Palsy: A Multidisciplinary Approach

Claire Kerr, Lisa Kent, Catherine Saunders, Andrew Ennis, Claire Orr, Ian Cleland

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review


Background: Assessment of movement in children with cerebral palsy (CP) is often confined to a specialist laboratory setting. Wearable sensor technologies can provide detailed physiological and performance measurements outside the laboratory environment, thereby helping evaluate therapies and monitor progress in ‘real-world’ settings.

Objectives: To describe and critique a systematic multidisciplinary approach to development of a sensor-based Digital Toolkit for assessment of movement in children with CP.

Methods: The multidisciplinary team of physiotherapists and computer scientists employed a sequential process that combined principles from healthcare and technology design frameworks 1-4, and expanded on methods for user engagement:
(1) Define domains of interest. The ICF Core Set for CP was used to identify potential outcome domains of interest.1 This was supplemented via rapid review using Medline and EMBASE databases. Three user engagement workshops were then held with physiotherapists, and children and families living with CP, to prioritise outcome domains.
(2) Domains of interest were mapped to available sensor technologies.
(3) Sensor technologies were evaluated against predefined criteria.

Results: Nineteen potential outcome domains were initially identified. User engagement workshops demonstrated that both physiotherapists and families considered joint mobility and pain as important domains to measure. Families also prioritised muscle tone and muscle power, whereas physiotherapists prioritised exercise tolerance and control of voluntary movement. Available sensor technologies were then mapped to the prioritised domains of both user groups. Detailed evaluation of the potential sensor solutions resulted in three sensor-based technologies being agreed for inclusion in the Digital Toolkit, which will be evaluated with users in a future feasibility and acceptability study.

Conclusion: A systematic, multidisciplinary approach that engaged relevant stakeholders, facilitated the successful development of a novel sensor-based Digital Toolkit for measuring movement in children with CP in ‘real-world’ settings.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 11 Mar 2021
EventBritish Academy of Childhood Disability 2021: Physical Activity and Movement - Online
Duration: 11 Mar 202111 Mar 2021


ConferenceBritish Academy of Childhood Disability 2021
Internet address


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