To investigate the effects of unilateral hybrid therapy (UHT) and bilateral hybrid therapy (BHT) compared with robot-assisted therapy (RT) alone in patients with chronic stroke.
A single-blind, randomized controlled trial
Forty-four outpatients with chronic stroke and mild to moderate motor impairment.
UHT combined unilateral RT (URT) and modified constraint-induced therapy. BHT combined bilateral RT (BRT) and bilateral arm training. The RT group received URT and the BRT. The intervention frequency for the 3 groups was 90 min/day, 3 days/week, for 6 weeks.
Fugl-Meyer Assessment (FMA, divided into the proximal and distal subscale) and Stroke Impact Scale (SIS) version 3.0 scores before, immediately after, and 3 months after treatment, and Wolf Motor Function Test (WMFT) and Nottingham Extended Activities of Daily Living (NEADL) scale scores before and immediately after treatment.
The results favored BHT over UHT on the FMA total score and distal score at the posttest (p = .03 and .04) and follow-up (p = .01 and .047) assessment, and BHT over RT on the follow-up FMA distal scores (p = .03). At the posttest assessment, the WMFT and SIS scores of the 3 groups improved significantly without between-group differences, and the RT group showed significantly greater improvement in the mobility domain of NEADL, as compared to the BHT group (p<.01).
BHT was more effective for improving upper extremity motor function, particularly distal motor function at follow-up, and individuals in the RT group demonstrated improved functional ambulation post intervention.