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NeuroRehabilitation. 2013;33(4):565-74. doi: 10.3233/NRE-130991.

Action observation training for functional activities after stroke: a pilot randomized controlled trial.

Author information

  • 1Graduate School of Physical Therapy, Sahmyook University, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
  • 2Department of Physical Therapy, College of Health Welfare, Sahmyook University, Seoul, Republic of Korea.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The objective of this study was to compare the effects of action observation training and motor imagery training on recovery from chronic stroke.

METHODS:

Thirty patients who were more than six months post stroke participated in this study and were randomly allocated to three groups. The action observation training group practiced additional action observation training for five 30-minute sessions over a four-week period. The motor imagery training group practiced additional motor imagery training for five 30-minute sessions over a four-week period. The following clinical measures were used for assessment of dynamic balance and gait abilities: Timed Up and Go Test, Functional Reaching Test, Walking Ability Questionnaire, and Functional Ambulation Category. Spatiotemporal gait parameters were also collected using a GAITRite system.

RESULT:

Compared with the physical training group, the action observation training group showed significant improvement in the Timed Up and Go test, gait speed, cadence, and single limb support of the affected side. No significant differences in any of the outcome measures were observed between the action observation training group and the motor imagery training group.

CONCLUSION:

Action observation training and motor imagery training results in improvement of dynamic balance and gait ability. These results suggest the feasibility and suitability of action observation training for patients with chronic stroke.

KEYWORDS:

Stroke; action observation; balance; gait; mirror neuron

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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