The development of anticipatory action planning in children with unilateral cerebral palsy

Hilde Krajenbrink, Ali Crichton, Bert Steenbergen, Brian Hoare

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background Previous studies suggest that compromised bimanual performance experienced by children with unilateral cerebral palsy (CP) is not only due to difficulties in action execution but may also be a result of impaired anticipatory action planning. Aims The effect of age and side of hemiplegia were examined and the relationship between anticipatory action planning, unimanual capacity and bimanual performance was explored. Methods and procedures Using a multi-centre, prospective, cross-sectional observational design, anticipatory action planning was analyzed in 104 children with unilateral cerebral palsy, aged 6–12 years, using the sword task. Outcomes and results Anticipatory action planning did not improve with age in children with unilateral CP, aged between 6–12 years. No differences were found between children with left or right hemiplegia. Finally, anticipatory action planning was not related to unimanual capacity or bimanual performance. Conclusion and implications This study demonstrates anticipatory action planning, measured using the sword task, does not improve with age in children with unilateral CP and is not related to bimanual performance or laterality. Future studies of anticipatory action planning in children with unilateral CP should consider using measures that require effective anticipatory action planning for successful task completion rather than end state comfort.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-171
Number of pages9
JournalResearch in Developmental Disabilities
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2019


  • Anticipatory action planning
  • Bimanual performance
  • Cerebral palsy
  • motor planning
  • Upper limb

Cite this