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Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2019 Feb;100(2):213-219. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2018.10.002. Epub 2018 Oct 26.

Robot-Assisted Reach Training With an Active Assistant Protocol for Long-Term Upper Extremity Impairment Poststroke: A Randomized Controlled Trial.

Author information

1
Department of Physical Therapy, Korea National University of Transportation, Jeungpyeong, Republic of Korea.
2
Department of Rehabilitative and Assistive Technology, National Rehabilitation Research Institute, National Rehabilitation Center, Seoul, Republic of Korea. Electronic address: wksong@nrc.go.kr.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To assess whether robot-assisted reach training (RART) with an active assistant protocol can improve upper extremity function and kinematic performance in chronic stroke survivors.

DESIGN:

This study was conducted as a randomized controlled trial.

SETTING:

National rehabilitation center.

PARTICIPANTS:

Chronic stroke survivors (N=38) were randomized into 2 groups: a robot-assisted reach training with assist-as-needed (RT-AAN) group and a robot-assisted reach training with guidance force (RT-G) group.

INTERVENTION:

The RT-AAN group received robot-assisted reach training with an assist-as-needed mode for 40 minutes per day, 3 times per week over a 6-week period, and the RT-G group participated in the RART with a guidance mode for 40 minutes per day, 3 times per week over a 6-week period.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Upper extremity functions were measured with Fugl-Meyer Assessment (FMA), Action Research Arm Test (ARAT), and Box and Block Test. In addition, movement velocities were measured as an index for upper extremity kinematic performances in 6 directions.

RESULTS:

Both groups showed significant improvements in FMA, ARAT, and kinematics (movement velocity) in all directions (targets 1-6, P<.05). However, the RT-AAN group showed significantly more improvement than the RT-G group in FMA and ARAT (P<.05).

CONCLUSIONS:

RART with an active assistant protocol showed improvements of upper extremity function and kinematic performance in chronic stroke survivors. In particular, assist-as-needed robot control was effective for upper extremity rehabilitation. Therefore robot-assisted training may be suggested as an effective intervention to improve upper extremity function in chronic stroke survivors.

KEYWORDS:

Rehabilitation; Stroke; Upper extremity

PMID:
30686326
DOI:
10.1016/j.apmr.2018.10.002

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