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J Caring Sci. 2019 Mar 1;8(1):39-44. doi: 10.15171/jcs.2019.006. eCollection 2019 Mar.

The Effect of Early Passive Range of Motion Exercise on Motor Function of People with Stroke: a Randomized Controlled Trial.

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Emergency Intensive care of neurosurgery, Poursina Hospital, Guilan University of Medical Sciences, Rasht, Iran.
Nursing Care Research Centre, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
Department of Statistics, School of Health, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.


Introduction: Frequent and regular exercises in the first six months of stroke may cause return of a significant portion of sensory and motor function of patients. This study aimed to examine the effects of passive range of motion exercise in the acute phase after stroke on motor function of the patients. Methods: A randomized controlled trial study was conducted. The patients with first ischemic stroke were randomly allocated to either experimental (n=33) or control (n=19) group. Passive range of motion exercises was performed in the experimental group during the first 48 hours of admission as 6 to 8 times of 30 minute exercise. Before intervention, and one and three months after intervention, motor function were measured by muscle strength grading scale (Oxford scale) and compared. SPSS version 13.0 for Windows was used for statistical analysis. Frequency distribution was used to describe the data. For comparisons, paired t-test, independent t-test was used, and repeated measures test was used. Results: In acute phase, the intervention in the experimental group led to significant improvement of motor function between the first and third month in both the upper and lower extremities. In control group, improvement was observed only in the muscle strength of upper extremity in the first and third month compared to pre-intervention measurement. The greatest improvement was observed in the interval from base to one month in the upper extremity, and base to the first month and the first to the third month in the lower extremity. Conclusion: It is recommended to use early passive range of motion exercise as part of care for people with stroke during the acute phase of the disease.


Hemiplegia; Motor activity; Range of motion, articular; Stroke

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