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Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012 Jun 13;(6):CD006876. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD006876.pub3.

Electromechanical and robot-assisted arm training for improving generic activities of daily living, arm function, and arm muscle strength after stroke.

Author information

1
Sektion Therapiewissenschaften, SRH Fachhochschule für Gesundheit Gera gGmbH, 07548 Gera, Germany. jan.mehrholz@klinik-bavaria.de

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Electromechanical and robot-assisted arm training devices are used in rehabilitation, and might help to improve arm function after stroke.

OBJECTIVES:

To assess the effectiveness of electromechanical and robot-assisted arm training for improving generic activities of daily living, arm function, and arm muscle strength in patients after stroke. We will also assess the acceptability and safety of the therapy.

SEARCH METHODS:

We searched the Cochrane Stroke Group's Trials Register (last searched July 2011), the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) (The Cochrane Library 2011, Issue 7), MEDLINE (1950 to July 2011), EMBASE (1980 to July 2011), CINAHL (1982 to July 2011), AMED (1985 to July 2011), SPORTDiscus (1949 to July 2011), PEDro (searched August 2011), COMPENDEX (1972 to July 2011), and INSPEC (1969 to July 2011). We also handsearched relevant conference proceedings, searched trials and research registers, checked reference lists, and contacted trialists, experts and researchers in our field, as well as manufacturers of commercial devices.

SELECTION CRITERIA:

Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) comparing electromechanical and robot-assisted arm training for recovery of arm function with other rehabilitation or placebo interventions, or no treatment, for patients after stroke.

DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS:

Two review authors independently selected trials for inclusion, assessed trial quality, and extracted data. We contacted trialists for additional information. We analysed the results as standardised mean differences (SMDs) for continuous variables and risk differences (RDs) for dichotomous variables.

MAIN RESULTS:

We included 19 trials (involving 666 participants) in this update of our review. Electromechanical and robot-assisted arm training did improve activities of daily living (SMD 0.43, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.11 to 0.75, P = 0.009, I(2) = 67%) as well as arm function (SMD 0.45, 95% CI 0.20 to 0.69, P = 0.0004, I(2) = 45%), but arm muscle strength did not improve (SMD 0.48, 95% CI -0.06 to 1.03, P = 0.08, I(2) = 79%). Electromechanical and robot-assisted arm training did not increase the risk of patients to drop out (RD 0.00, 95% CI -0.04 to 0.04, P = 0.82, I(2) = 0.0%), and adverse events were rare.

AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS:

Patients who receive electromechanical and robot-assisted arm training after stroke are more likely to improve their generic activities of daily living. Paretic arm function may also improve, but not arm muscle strength. However, the results must be interpreted with caution because there were variations between the trials in the duration and amount of training, type of treatment, and in the patient characteristics.

PMID:
22696362
DOI:
10.1002/14651858.CD006876.pub3
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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