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Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2002 Jul;83(7):952-9.

Robot-assisted movement training compared with conventional therapy techniques for the rehabilitation of upper-limb motor function after stroke.

Author information

1
Rehabilitation Research & Development Center, VA Palo Alto Health Care System, Palo Alto, CA, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To compare the effects of robot-assisted movement training with conventional techniques for the rehabilitation of upper-limb motor function after stroke.

DESIGN:

Randomized controlled trial, 6-month follow-up.

SETTING:

A Department of Veterans Affairs rehabilitation research and development center.

PARTICIPANTS:

Consecutive sample of 27 subjects with chronic hemiparesis (>6mo after cerebrovascular accident) randomly allocated to group.

INTERVENTIONS:

All subjects received twenty-four 1-hour sessions over 2 months. Subjects in the robot group practiced shoulder and elbow movements while assisted by a robot manipulator. Subjects in the control group received neurodevelopmental therapy (targeting proximal upper limb function) and 5 minutes of exposure to the robot in each session.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Fugl-Meyer assessment of motor impairment, FIMtrade mark instrument, and biomechanic measures of strength and reaching kinematics. Clinical evaluations were performed by a therapist blinded to group assignments.

RESULTS:

Compared with the control group, the robot group had larger improvements in the proximal movement portion of the Fugl-Meyer test after 1 month of treatment (P<.05) and also after 2 months of treatment (P<.05). The robot group had larger gains in strength (P<.02) and larger increases in reach extent (P<.01) after 2 months of treatment. At the 6-month follow-up, the groups no longer differed in terms of the Fugl-Meyer test (P>.30); however, the robot group had larger improvements in the FIM (P<.04).

CONCLUSIONS:

Compared with conventional treatment, robot-assisted movements had advantages in terms of clinical and biomechanical measures. Further research into the use of robotic manipulation for motor rehabilitation is justified.

PMID:
12098155
DOI:
10.1053/apmr.2001.33101
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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