[Purpose] Investigation of the efficacy of robot-mediated therapy of the upper limb in patients with chronic stroke, in task-oriented training activities of daily living in real environment.
[Subjects and Methods] 20 patients, each more than one year post-stroke (13–71 months) received 20 sessions of upper limb robot-mediated therapy. No other treatment was given. Each therapy session consisted of a passive motion and an active task therapy. During the active therapy, subjects exercised 5 activities of daily living. Assessments of the subjects were blind, and conducted one month prior to, at the start, at the end, and three months after the therapy course. The following outcome measures were recorded: Fugl-Meyer Scale—upper extremity subsection, Modified Ashworth Scale, Action Research Arm Test, Functional Independence Measure, Barthel Index.
[Results] Significant improvements were observed between the start and the end of the therapy, except for Modified Ashworth Scale and Barthel Index. Results still held up at the follow-up visit three months later.
[Conclusion] Practicing activities of daily living in real environment with robot-mediated physical therapy can improve the motor and functional ability of patients, even with relatively good initial functions, and even years post-stroke.