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Clin Rehabil. 2014 Jul;28(7):637-47. doi: 10.1177/0269215513516967. Epub 2014 Jan 22.

Effect on arm function and cost of robot-assisted group therapy in subacute patients with stroke and a moderately to severely affected arm: a randomized controlled trial.

Author information

1
Medical Park Berlin, Department of Neurological Rehabilitation, Charité University, Berlin, Germany s.hesse@medicalpark.de.
2
Klinik am Stein, Zentrum für NeuroGeriatrie und Rehabilitationsmedizin, Olsberg, Germany.
3
Medical Park Berlin, Department of Neurological Rehabilitation, Charité University, Berlin, Germany.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of robot-assisted arm group therapy (RAGT) versus individual arm therapy (IAT) to restore motor function in the moderately to severely affected patient after stroke.

DESIGN:

Single blind randomized controlled trial.

SETTING:

Two in-patient neurological rehabilitation centers.

PARTICIPANTS:

Fifty first time subacute patients with stroke and a non-functional hand.

INTERVENTION:

The patients practiced either 30 minutes of RAGT + 30 minutes of IAT (group A) or 2x30 minutes of IAT (group B), per workday for four weeks. The RAGT consisted of six workstations enabling repetitive practice of finger, wrist, forearm and shoulder movements. Patients practiced according to their impairment level on at least two workstations per session. The IAT followed the Motor Relearning Programme, enriched by elements of the impairment-oriented training.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE:

Changes of the Fugl Meyer Score (FM, 0-66) between baseline and after 4 weeks, incremental cost effectiveness.

RESULTS:

Patients were homogeneous at study onset. All patients improved their upper limb motor function over time, but there were no between group differences. The initial (terminal) FM scores were 14.6±9.4 (25.7±16.5) in group A and 16.5±9.8 (31.1±19.1) in group B. The treatment of a single patient with RAGT cost 4.15 €, compared to 10.00 € for a patient to receive IAT.

CONCLUSION:

RAGT in combination with IAT was equally effective as a double session of IAT regarding the restoration of upper limb motor functions in moderate to severely affected subacute patients with stroke. The treatment costs for RAGT were less.

KEYWORDS:

Stroke; neurological rehabilitation; randomized controlled trial; rehabilitation intervention; robot-assisted devices

PMID:
24452706
DOI:
10.1177/0269215513516967
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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