Category: Arts & Neuroscience; Pediatric Rehabilitation; Neuroplasticity (includes neuroscience)
To evaluate the effect of practicing magic tricks on upper limb motor function of children with hemiplegia.
Design : A mixed methods design encompassing a single group pretest-posttest design with a 3-month follow-up. In addition, an individual in-depth qualitative interview was conducted at 3-month follow-up.
Setting : university academic
Participants (or Animals, Specimens, Cadavers) : Seven children with hemiplegia participated in a magic camp program. The children who participated included 5 females and 2 males representing 3 black and 4 white individuals. The mean and SD age of the participants was 12.2+1.4 years (range: 10.6-13.7 years).
Interventions : Participants attended the camp in the morning for four hours, Monday through Wednesday, for two consecutive weeks for a total of 24 hours. The camp activities followed the protocol used by the Healing of Magic program (http://magictherapy.com). All tricks required the participants to use both hands to perform, which may require the use of the less affected / unaffected hand to stabilize an object and their more affected hand to complete the preparatory activities for the magic trick.
Main Outcome Measure(s) :
Participants completed three assessments at the beginning of camp, immediate post-camp, and 3-month follow up: the Jebsen Hand Function Test (JHFT), Children’s Hand Experience Questionnaire (CHEQ), and a box opening task that required bimanual coordination. In addition, participants were individually interviewed to explore their camp experience.
A significant improvement in JHFT scores of the affected hand at post-camp and 3-month follow-up was observed. Participants reported a significant increase in the number of activities performed bimanually on the CHEQ from baseline to 3-month follow-up, though no significant difference was observed from baseline to post-camp. This pattern of improvement was also observed in the speed to complete the box opening task. Content analysis of the interview transcripts revealed participants attained an improved sense of confidence and self-motivation to use their affected hand.
Results showed immediate and short-term benefits of the magic camp on increased use of the affected hand and improved upper limb (unilateral and bilateral) motor function. Based on the qualitative and quantitative findings from the present study, the improvement in bimanual coordination at 3-month follow-up evaluation was attributed to the change in confidence and self-motivation of performing daily activities with the affected hand and both hands rather than practicing magic tricks during the 3-month period.
Drew Davis– Professor, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama
Hon Yuen– Professor, UAB, Birmingham, Alabama
Kevin Spencer– Faculty, Carlow University, Lynchburg, Virginia
Kimberly Kirklin– Director, UAB Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center, Birmingham, Alabama
Gavin Jenkins– Chairperson/Assocate Professor, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama