ToCUEST: a task-oriented client-centered training module to improve upper extremity skilled performance in cervical spinal cord-injured persons

A. I. F. Spooren*, Y. J. M. Janssen-Potten, E. Kerckhofs, H.M.H. Bongers, H. A. M. Seelen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Objectives: Given (a) the importance of upper extremity skill performance in persons with cervical spinal cord injury (C-SCI), (b) the limited number of studies on arm hand functioning in C-SCI and (c) the discrepancy between the importance of client centeredness and the lack of a theoretical framework and practical guidelines on how to apply client centeredness into practice, the aim of the present study is to (1) develop a training concept in which rehabilitation of the upper extremity focuses on patient's needs and wishes and (2) to put this concept into practice for tetraplegic persons. Methods: The training concept contains two main components. The client-centered component includes both extracting individual goals and defining and objectifying these goals. The task-oriented component incorporates a task analysis and the composition of an individual training program. Results: A task-oriented client-centered training aimed at improving upper extremity skilled performance in tetraplegic persons is described step by step. The Canadian Occupational Performance Measure is used to identify patient's specific needs. The Goal Attainment Scale is applied to define and objectify individual goals. A task analysis is essential to map limiting and facilitating factors of the person, the task and the environment and to identify which aspects should be trained. An individual task-oriented training program is composed, based on principles of motor learning and training physiology and the use of assistive devices. Each step is explained and illustrated using a case example. Spinal Cord (2011) 49, 1042-1048; doi:10.1038/sc.2011.52; published online 31 May 2011
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1042-1048
JournalSpinal Cord
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2011


  • client-centered
  • goal setting
  • task-oriented rehabilitation program
  • upper extremity
  • tetraplegia

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