Adaptable ergonomic interventions for patients with cerebral palsy to rice farmers activities: reviews and recommendations

Main Article Content

Agung Kristanto
Manida Swangnetr Neubert
Rungthip Puntumetakul
Weerapat Sessomboon


Although inherently different in causation, a previous study demonstrated that physical disabilities faced by people with cerebral palsy (CP) might also be experienced by rice farmers due to extreme working conditions. Certain assistive technology (AT) extensively developed for CPs might also be of benefit to healthy farmers to prevent occupational injuries. This article provides a constrained review of available ergonomic interventions for CPs that bear prospect to be applicable to rice farmers. All papers were retrieved from the last 20-years collection from nine major search engines. Terms of “ergonomic interventions”, “congenital disability”, “cerebral palsy” and “orthoses” were used as search keywords. Two reviewers defined whether the articles complied with the inclusion criteria of: (1) a review or the next best available; (2) contains ergonomic interventions; and (3) more than 25% of participants were CPs. The interventions were then categorized as: (1) engineering, (2) administrative and, (3) behavioral interventions. Most studies reported engineering and administrative interventions to significantly improve motor function and gait characteristics. Behavioral interventions successfully promoted positive mood and behavior. Types of intervention for CPs that might be adaptable for farmers were discussed, along with related examples previously proposed for reducing injury among farming workers. In general, the findings indicated most adapted interventions were based on educational programs, with no attempt to adapt engineering interventions from CPs for farmers. We recommended that a certain combination of engineering and administrative interventions for CPs treatment, with slight modifications, may be applicable to farmers for preventing risky environmental conditions and unsafe working postures.


Download data is not yet available.

Article Details

Review Articles


[1] Swangnetr M, Karukunchit U, Juntaracena K, Puntumetakul R, Gross MT, Kaber DB. Relating musculoskeletal and disability conditions of occupation-induced musculoskeletal disorders to nonoccupational congenital disabilities. In: Goonetilleke R, Karwowski W, editors. Advances in Physical Ergonomics and Human Factors: Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics; 2016 Jul 27-31; Orlando, FL. Springer; 2016. p. 65-73.

[2] Karukunchit U, Puntumetakul R, Swangnetr M, Boucaut R. Prevalence and risk factor analysis of lower extremity abnormal alignment characteristics among rice farmers. Patient Prefer Adherence. 2015;9:785-795.

[3] Juntaracena K, Neubert MS, Puntumetakul R. Effects of muddy terrain on lower extremity muscle activity and discomfort during the rice planting process. Int J Ind Ergon. 2018;66:187-193.

[4] Karwowski W, Marras WS. Interventions, Controls, and Applications in Occupational Ergonomics. Crc Press; 2006.

[5] Wilson DJ, Mitchell JM, Kemp BJ, Adkins RH, Mann W. Effects of assistive technology on functional decline in people aging with a disability. Assist Technol. 2009;21(4):208-217.

[6] Autti-Rämö I, Suoranta J, Anttila H, Malmivaara A, Mäkelä M. Effectiveness of upper and lower limb casting and orthoses in children with cerebral palsy: an overview of review articles. Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2006;85(1):89-103.

[7] Blackmore AM, Boettcher-Hunt E, Jordan M, Chan MDY. A systematic review of the effects of casting on equinus in children with cerebral palsy: an evidence report of the AACPDM. Dev Med Child Neurol. 2007;49(10):781-790.

[8] Brouwer RW, Jakma TSC, Verhagen AP, Verhaar JAN, Bierma-Zeinstra SM. Braces and orthoses for treating osteoarthritis of the knee. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2005;25(1):CD004020.

[9] Meyer-Heim A, van Hedel HJA. Robot-assisted and computer-enhanced therapies for children with cerebral palsy: current state and clinical implementation. Semin Pediatr Neurol. 2013;20(2):139-145.

[10] Bailes AF, Greve K, Burch CK, Reder R, Lin L, Huth MM. The effect of suit wear during an intensive therapy program in children with cerebral palsy. Pediatr Phys Ther Off Publ Sect Pediatr Am Phys Ther Assoc. 2011;23(2):136-142.

[11] Chung J, Evans J, Lee C, Lee J, Rabbani Y, Harris SR. Effectiveness of adaptive seating on sitting posture and postural control in children with cerebral palsy. Pediatr Phys Ther. 2008;20(4):303-317.

[12] Brandao M, Gordon AM, Hung Y-C, Brandao M, Friel K, Charles JR. Bimanual training and constraint-induced movement therapy in children with hemiplegic cerebral palsy: a randomized trial. Neurorehabil Neural Repair. 2011;25(8):692-702.

[13] Darrah J, Watkins B, Chen L, Bonin C. Conductive education intervention for children with cerebral palsy: an AACPDM evidence report. Dev Med Child Neurol. 2004;46(3):187-203.

[14] Blauw-Hospers CH, Hadders-Algra M. A systematic review of the effects of early intervention on motor development. Dev Med Child Neurol. 2005;47(6):421-432.

[15] Ketelaar M, Vermeer A, Hart HT, van Petegem-van Beek E, Helders PJ. Effects of a functional therapy program on motor abilities of children with cerebral palsy. Phys Ther. 2001;81(9):1534-1545.

[16] Gordon GS, Simkiss DE. A systematic review of the evidence for hip surveillance in children with cerebral palsy. J Bone Joint Surg Br. 2006;(11):1492-1496.

[17] Novak I, Cusick A. Home programmes in paediatric occupational therapy for children with cerebral palsy: Where to start? Aust Occup Ther J. 2006;53(4):251-264.

[18] Hernandez-Reif M, Field T, Largie S, Diego M, Manigat N, Seoanes J, Bornstein J. Cerebral palsy symptoms in children decreased following massage therapy. Early Child Dev Care. 2005;175(5):445-456.

[19] Wiart L, Darrah J, Kembhavi G. Stretching with children with cerebral palsy: what do we know and where are we going? Pediatr Phys Ther Off Publ Sect Pediatr Am Phys Ther Assoc. 2008 Summer;20(2):173-178.

[20] Butler JM, Scianni A, Ada L. Effect of cardiorespiratory training on aerobic fitness and carryover to activity in children with cerebral palsy: a systematic review. Int J Rehabil Res. 2010;33(2):97-103.

[21] Dodd KJ, Taylor NF, Damiano DL. A systematic review of the effectiveness of strength-training programs for people with cerebral palsy. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2002;(8):1157-1164.

[22] Zwicker JG, Mayson TA. Effectiveness of treadmill training in children with motor impairments: an overview of systematic reviews. Pediatr Phys Ther Off Publ Sect Pediatr Am Phys Ther Assoc. 2010;22(4):361-377.

[23] Lasa SM, Ferriero G, Brigatti E, Valero R, Franchignoni F. Animal-assisted interventions in internal and rehabilitation medicine: a review of the recent literature. Panminerva Med. 2011;53(2):129-136.

[24] Roberts C, Mazzucchelli T, Studman L, Sanders MR. Behavioral family intervention for children with developmental disabilities and behavioral problems. J Clin Child Adolesc Psychol. 2006;35(2):180-193.

[25] Julie AS. Respite care for families of special needs children: a systematic review. J Dev Phys Disabil. 2010;(6):615.

[26] Nag PK, Goswami A, Ashtekar SP, Pradhan CK. Ergonomics in sickle operation. Appl Ergon. 1988;19(3):233-239.

[27] Santaweesuk S, Chapman RS, Siriwong W. Effects of an injury and illness prevention program on occupational safety behaviors among rice farmers in Nakhon Nayok Province, Thailand. Risk Manag Healthc Policy. 2014;7:51-60.

[28] Buranatrevedh S, Sweatsriskul P. Model development for health promotion and control of agricultural occupational health hazards and accidents in Pathumthani, Thailand. Ind Health. 2005;43(4):669-676.

[29] Thanawat T, Nualnetr N. Effects of an intervention based on the Transtheoretical Model on back muscle endurance, physical function and pain in rice farmers with chronic low back pain. J Back Musculoskelet Rehabil. 2017;30(4):847-856.

[30] Nanda AS, Nako T. Role of buffalo in the socioeconomic development of rural Asia: Current status and future prospectus. Anim Sci J. 2003;74(6), 443-455.

[31] Branthwaite HR, Payton CJ, Chockalingam N. The effect of simple insoles on three-dimensional foot motion during normal walking. Clin Biomech Bristol Avon. 2004;19(9):972-977.

[32] Swangnetr M, Kaber D. Analysis of grip force and arm muscle activity between novice and experienced rice farmers in plowing task. In: Jang R, Ahram T, editors. Advances in Physical Ergonomics and Human Factors Part II: Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics; 2014 Jul 19-23; Krakow, Poland. AHFE Conference ©2014; 2014. p. 49-56.

[33] Lee KS, Waikar A. Types of activities and body parts affected in the recommended exercises for VDT operators. J Hum Ergol (Tokyo). 1991;20(1):13-26.

[34] Keawduangdee P, Puntumetakul R, Swangnetr M, Laohasiriwong W, Settheetham D, Yamauchi J, Boucaut R. Prevalence of low back pain and associated factors among farmers during the rice transplanting process. J Phys Ther Sci. 2015;27, 2239-2245.

[35] Khayer SM, Patel T, Dewangan KN. Ergonomic design improvement of pedal thresher: an approach combining digital human modelling and response surface analysis. J Ergon. 2017;7(6):1-9.

[36] Swangnetr M, Kaber D, Phimphasak C, Namkorn P, Saenlee K, Zhu B, Puntumetakul R. The influence of rice plow handle design and whole-body posture on grip force and upper-extremity muscle activation. Ergonomics. 2014;57(10):1526-1535.