This study examines the association between head righting and two commonly used therapeutic positions: semiprone on an inclined prone positioner and upright short-sitting in an adapted wheelchair. The subjects were 26 individuals with cerebral palsy and multiple handicaps who had difficulty maintaining active head control in a vertical orientation. Such head control is necessary for attending to learning tasks in the classroom and activities of daily living in the clinic. The frequency and duration of head righting during a feeding task was measured by means of a mercury switch system mounted on a headband and attached to an electromechanical digit counter and a clock. Measurements of duration and frequency beyond the predetermined range of functional head righting plus measurements on five control variables were analyzed by four statistical methods: t -test on the means, simple correlation, cannonical correlation, and regression analysis. The control variables were age, mobility level, degree of hypertonicity, level of seizure activity, and level of reflex maturity. Results indicate that, in this severely handicapped population, head righting while in the adapted wheelchair is no different from head righting while in the semiprone position. One control variable, level of independent mobility, was positively correlated with the length of time that subjects were able to maintain head righting in the semiprone position.

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