Evaluation of a functional hand orthosis combined with electrical stimulation adjunct to arm-hand rehabilitation in subacute stroke patients with a severely to moderately affected hand function

Johan Anton Franck*, Rob Johannes Elise Marie C. Smeets, Henk Alexander Maria Seelen

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Purpose: To investigate the usability and effectiveness of a functional hand orthosis, combined with electrical stimulation adjunct to therapy-as-usual, on functional use of the moderately/severely impaired hand in sub-acute stroke patients. Materials and Methods: Single case experiment (A-B-A '-design) involving eight sub-acute stroke patients. The functional hand orthosis and electrical stimulation were used for six weeks, four days/week, 45 '/day. Outcome measures: Action_Research_Arm_Test, Intrinsic_Motivation_Inventory. Results: At group level, patients improved 19.2 points (median value) (interquartile range: [8.8, 29.5] points) on the Action_Research_Arm_Test (p = 0.001). After correcting for spontaneous recovery and/or therapy-as-usual effects Action_Research_Arm_Test scores still improved significantly (median: 17.2 points; interquartile range: [5.1, 29.2] points) (p = 0.002). At individual level, six patients had improved as to arm-hand skill performance at follow-up (p <= 0.010). In one patient, arm-hand skill performance improvement did not attain statistical significance. In another patient, no arm-hand skill performance improvement was observed. Average Intrinsic_Motivation_Inventory sub-scores were between 4.6 and 6.3 (maximum: 7), except for 'perceived pressure/tension' (3.3). Conclusion: Sub-acute stroke patients who display only little/modest improvement on their capacity to perform daily activities, seem to benefit from training with a dynamic arm orthosis in combination with electrical stimulation. Patients' perceived intrinsic motivation and sense of self-regulation was high.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1160-1168
Number of pages9
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation
Volume41
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 8 May 2019

Keywords

  • Stroke rehabilitation
  • upper limb
  • orthotic devices
  • single case experimental design
  • motor skills
  • UPPER EXTREMITY FUNCTION
  • MOTOR RECOVERY
  • UPPER-LIMB
  • SELF-EFFICACY
  • DEXTERITY
  • SURVIVORS
  • THERAPY
  • PARESIS
  • TIME

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