“Move it to improve it” for Children with Cerebral Palsy

A patient using Mitti

Funding source:  QLD Government

Grant Type:  Smart Futures Co-Investment Fund

Start / End Date:  2013 to 2015

Chief Investigators

Prof Roslyn Boyd, Prof Jenny Ziviani, A/Prof Anthony Smith, Dr Lynne McKinlay, Owen Lloyd.

Associate Investigators

Ms Emmah Baque, Ms Stephanie Ross, Louise Mitchell, Dr Sarah James, Dr Adina Piovesana, Ms Stephanie Ross.


Mitii CP is one of two studies within the “eBRAIN: Neurorestorative Rehabilitation Program", funded by the Queensland Department of Innovation program ($1M funds received from Qld Government, 2012-2015) which matched support from our major donor the Merchant Charitable Foundation. MiTii CP has also been supported by a grant from the Financial Markets Foundation for Children ($160,000 in 2011-2013).

About the study

The purpose of the Mitii study was to evaluate Mitii, a new internet-based rehabilitation program for children with congenital hemiplegia from eastern Australia with assistance from the Australian Cerebral Palsy Register and the CP Alliance. During the study, an Occupational Therapist, a Physiotherapist and a Psychologist acted as ‘virtual trainers’ making changes to each child’s individualised Mitii program. The aim was to see whether using the Mitii program at home, daily for 20 weeks effectively improves upper-limb function, performance in everyday tasks, participation in home, school and leisure activities, strength and fitness, and higher order thinking tasks known as ‘executive function’. Children were able to access the Mitti program from home on their computer with a webcam. A total of 102 children with unilateral CP completed Mitti training. There was a big range in the amount of Mitii™ that participants did over the 20 weeks. The maximum training that one participant did was almost 80 hours!

Please see our Study Outline for further information.

Summary of results

Mitii™ improved:

  • Activities of daily living skills
  • Visual perception
  • Goals - e.g. brushing own hair
  • Strength – e.g. sit to stands and squats

Mitii™ did not change:

  • Executive functioning skills
  • Everyday physical activity
  • Bimanual performance

Please see our Mitii Results information sheet for further information.

The research team was awarded a prestigious international award, the “Gayle G. Arnold Award for Best Paper” at the American Academy for Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine (AACPDM) in September 2014 (Authors: James S, Ziviani J, Ware R, & Boyd RN. Title: Efficacy of a web-based multimodal therapy on occupational performance, upper limb function and visual perception for children with unilateral cerebral palsy).  Overall, (a) the Mitii™ program is an effective intervention for children with unilateral CP to improve motor and processing skills for activities of daily living, individual goal attainment and visual-spatial abilities; (b) Children classified as level II on the Manual Ability Classification System may require additional specific upper limb training to improve their manual abilities; and (c) the Mitii™ program offers a home-based alternative to standard face-to-face therapy that can provide significant benefits for children with unilateral CP.


Professor Roslyn Boyd, Ph: +61 7 3069 7372 or E: r.boyd@uq.edu.au