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Top Stroke Rehabil. 2011 Nov-Dec;18(6):728-37. doi: 10.1310/tsr1806-728.

A pilot study of rhythm and timing training as a supplement to occupational therapy in stroke rehabilitation.

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  • 1Department of Occupational Therapy, Xavier University, Cincinnati, OH, USA.



Stroke is the leading cause of disability. A need exists for an effective intervention to enhance upper extremity (UE) motor abilities and activities of daily living (ADL) performance.


The objectives of this pilot study were to (1) determine the feasibility of adding Interactive Metronome (IM) to an occupational therapy (OT) program; and (2) determine changes in UE impairments, function, quality of life, and perceived physical performance ability and satisfaction using a combined IM + OT regimen compared with OT alone for adults with chronic stroke.


This pilot study (n=10) used a 2-group (OT or IM+OT) pretest-posttest design. The intervention involved 60 minutes of IM + OT or OT alone, 3 days a week for 10 weeks. Outcome measures included the UE Fugl-Meyer (impairment), the Arm Motor Ability Test (function), the Box and Block Test (function), Stroke Impact Scale (quality of life), and the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure (perceived performance ability and satisfaction).


It was feasible to add IM to OT. The IM+OT group demonstrated decreased impairment and increased quality of life. However, the OT-alone group demonstrated greater gains in function, perceived physical performance ability, and satisfaction.


These findings suggest that rhythm and timing training using the IM is a feasible intervention to consider as part of therapy treatment. However, IM may fit best for prefunctional treatment, as it seemed to primarily decrease impairment. It may also serve as a supplement before or after treatment in order to maximize rehabilitation potential. Clinical implications and suggestions for future studies are provided.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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