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Trials. 2015 Nov 5;16:508. doi: 10.1186/s13063-015-1034-1.

Functional rehabilitation of upper limb apraxia in poststroke patients: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial.

Author information

Department of Physical Therapy, University of Granada (UGR), Granada, Spain.
Department of Physical Therapy, University of Granada (UGR), Granada, Spain. mcgrios@ugr.eses.
Hospital Clínico San Cecilio, Granada, Spain. fjbarreroh@ugr.eses.
Department of Nursing and Physical Therapy, University of Almeria (UAL), Almeria, Spain. guada_805@hotmail.comes.
Department of Occupational Therapy, School of Primary Health Care, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia. ted.brown@monash.edues.
Department of Physical Therapy, University of Granada (UGR), Granada, Spain.
Fisioterapia, Universidad de Granada, Granada, Spain.



Upper limb apraxia is a common disorder associated with stroke that can reduce patients' independence levels in activities of daily living and increase levels of disability. Traditional rehabilitation programs designed to promote the recovery of upper limb function have mainly focused on restorative or compensatory approaches. However, no previous studies have been completed that evaluate a combined intervention method approach, where patients concurrently receive cognitive training and learn compensatory strategies for enhancing daily living activities.


This study will use a two-arm, assessor-blinded, parallel, randomized controlled trial design, involving 40 patients who present a left- or right-sided unilateral vascular lesion poststroke and a clinical diagnosis of upper limb apraxia. Participants will be randomized to either a combined functional rehabilitation or a traditional health education group. The experimental group will receive an 8-week combined functional program at home, including physical and occupational therapy focused on restorative and compensatory techniques for upper limb apraxia, 3 days per week in 30-min intervention periods. The control group will receive a conventional health education program once a month over 8 weeks, based on improving awareness of physical and functional limitations and facilitating the adaptation of patients to the home. Study outcomes will be assessed immediately postintervention and at the 2-month follow-up. The primary outcome measure will be basic activities of daily living skills as assessed with the Barthel Index. Secondary outcome measures will include the following: 1) the Lawton and Brody Instrumental Activities of Daily Living Scale, 2) the Observation and Scoring of ADL-Activities, 3) the De Renzi Test for Ideational Apraxia, 4) the De Renzi Test for Ideomotor Apraxia, 5) Recognition of Gestures, 6) the Test of Upper Limb Apraxia (TULIA), and 7) the Quality of Life Scale For Stroke (ECVI-38).


This trial is expected to clarify the effectiveness of a combined functional rehabilitation approach compared to a conservative intervention for improving upper limb movement and function in poststroke patients.


Clinical Trial Gov number NCT02199093 . The protocol registration was received 23 July 2014. Participant enrollment began on 1 May 2014. The trial is expected to be completed in March 2016.

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