The aim of this study was to compare the effects of two kinds of wrist-hand orthosis on wrist flexor spasticity in chronic stroke patients.
This is a randomized controlled trial.
The study was conducted in a rehabilitation center.
A total of 40 chronic hemiparetic stroke patients with wrist flexor spasticity were involved in the study.
Patients were randomly assigned to either an experimental group (conventional rehabilitation therapy + 3D-printed orthosis, 20 patients) or a control group (conventional rehabilitation therapy + low-temperature thermoplastic plate orthosis, 20 patients). The time of wearing orthosis was about 4–8 hours per day for six weeks.
Primary outcome measure: Modified Ashworth Scale was assessed three times (at baseline, three weeks, and six weeks). Secondary outcome measures: passive range of motion, Fugl-Meyer Assessment score, visual analogue scale score, and the swelling score were assessed twice (at baseline and six weeks). The subjective feeling score was assessed at six weeks.
No significant difference was found between the two groups in the change of Modified Ashworth Scale scores at three weeks (15% versus 25%, P = 0.496). At six weeks, the Modified Ashworth Scale scores (65% versus 30%, P = 0.02), passive range of wrist extension (P < 0.001), ulnar deviation (P = 0.028), Fugl-Meyer Assessment scores (P < 0.001), and swelling scores (P < 0.001) showed significant changes between the experimental group and the control group. No significant difference was found between the two groups in the change of visual analogue scale scores (P = 0.637) and the subjective feeling scores (P = 0.243).
3D-printed orthosis showed greater changes than low-temperature thermoplastic plate orthosis in reducing spasticity and swelling, improving motor function of the wrist and passive range of wrist extension for stroke patients.
The aim of this study was to critically appraise, compare and summarize the quality of the measurement properties of grip strength (GS) in healthy participants and patients with musculoskeletal, neurological or systemic conditions.
We followed the COnsensus-based Standards for the selection of health Measurement INstruments (COSMIN) guideline. To identify studies on measurement properties of GS, we searched the Medline, Embase, CINAHL, PEDro and Cochrane Library databases from inception till June 2019. Meta-analyses were carried out using a random effect model and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated.
Studies were included if they reported at least 1 measurement property of hand GS in healthy patient population or with musculoskeletal, neurological and systemic conditions
The extracted data included the study population, setting, sample size, measurement evaluated and the test interval.
Twenty-five studies were included with 1879 participants. The pooled results indicated excellent intra-class correlation coefficients (ICC) 0.92, 95% CI: -0.88 to 0.94 for healthy participants, ICC 0.95, 95% CI: -0.93 to 0.97 for upper extremity conditions and an ICC of 0.96, 95% CI: -0.94 to 0.97 for patients with neurological conditions. Minimum Clinically Important Difference (MCID) scores for hand GS were: 5.0 kg (dominant side) and 6.2 kg (non-dominant side) for post-stroke patients, 6.5 kg for the affected side after distal radius fracture, 10.5lbs and 10 kilopascals for immune-mediated neuropathies, 17kg for patients with lateral epicondylitis and 0.84 kg (affected side) and 1.12 kg (unaffected side) in the carpometacarpal osteoarthritis group, and MCID GS estimates of 2.69 – 2.44 kg in the healthy group
Our synthesized evidence indicated that GS assessment is a reliable and valid procedure among healthy participants as well as across various clinical populations. Furthermore, our MCID summary scores provided useful information for evaluating (clinical importance) new interventions regarding hand GS.
In the context of stroke rehabilitation, new training approaches mediated by virtual reality and videogames are usually discussed and evaluated together in reviews and meta-analyses. This represents a serious confounding factor that is leading to misleading, inconclusive outcomes in the interest of validating these new solutions.
Extending existing definitions of virtual reality, in this paper I put forward the concept of virtual reality experience (VRE), generated by virtual reality systems (VRS; i.e. a group of variable technologies employed to create a VRE). Then, I review the main components composing a VRE, and how they may purposely affect the mind and body of participants in the context of neurorehabilitation. In turn, VRS are not anymore exclusive from VREs but are currently used in videogames and other human-computer interaction applications in different domains. Often, these other applications receive the name of virtual reality applications as they use VRS. However, they do not necessarily create a VRE. I put emphasis on exposing fundamental similarities and differences between VREs and videogames for neurorehabilitation. I also recommend describing and evaluating the specific features encompassing the intervention rather than evaluating virtual reality or videogames as a whole.
This disambiguation between VREs, VRS and videogames should help reduce confusion in the field. This is important for databases searches when looking for specific studies or building metareviews that aim at evaluating the efficacy of technology-mediated interventions.
In the context of stroke rehabilitation, new training approaches mediated by virtual reality and videogames are usually discussed and evaluated together in reviews and meta-analyses for upper limb [1, 2], and balance and gait . Certainly, the expected superiority of virtual reality over conventional therapy post stroke has been questioned when using off-the-shelf (e.g., Nintendo Wii) or ad-hoc videogames. This conclusion, however, is based on the wrong assumption that videogames deliver same experiences than virtual reality applications. In my opinion, this represents a serious confounding factor that may lead to misleading, inconclusive outcomes in the interest of validating these new solutions. Indeed, in Laver’s Cochrane article, a positive effect for virtual reality versus conventional therapy for improving upper limb function post stroke is found only when dedicated virtual reality based interventions, i.e. specifically designed for rehabilitation settings, are used. The effect vanishes when standard off-the-shelf videogames are considered. Indeed, the use of Nintendo Wii (but referring to it as virtual reality) often leads to a non-inferiority clinical outcome, being as effective as conventional therapy  or alternative playful interventions such as playing cards . In another study with mobile-based and dedicated games (again referred to as virtual reality), partial functional and motor improvements were observed as compared to standard occupational therapy .
This heterogeneity in the reported virtual reality and videogames studies for neurorehabilitation calls for use of appropriate labelling for the approaches and variables assessed. A correct identification of the specific factors (and their weight) contributing to any eventual change post treatment are required for interpreting those changes and building further evidence on the specific solution. Therefore, in this paper I propose to reframe the traditional interpretation of the term virtual reality. I advocate disentangling two conceptual components that may help the field standardize its use: virtual reality experience (VRE) and virtual reality systems (VRS). I put emphasis on exposing fundamental similarities and differences between VREs and videogames, often mistakenly used as synonyms or exchangeable terms despite the different underlying interventional techniques and brain mechanisms they can enable. I then use neurorehabilitation as exemplary application field to discuss the implications of differentiating between them.[…]
Each November, we pause to recognize Veterans and honor their service and sacrifice during war and peace. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, almost 5 million veterans are living with a service-connected disability, that is a disability that resulted from disease or injury incurred or aggravated during active service. Another 9 million are over 65 and may have age-related disabilities. These veterans and their families may be at higher risk of unemployment, housing insecurity, and poor health than their peers without disabilities.
Part of NIDILRR-funded research includes topics related to veterans with disabilities and their families, and has investigated issues across health, employment, and community participation, including these current and recently-completed projects:
NARIC’s information specialists are available by phone, email, Facebook, and chat to assist Veterans with disabilities, their families, and other advocates in identifying programs and services in your community.
To Veterans and their families, from all of us at NARIC: Thank you for your service.
Prediction of who will recover after stroke has been a perennial focus for both researchers and clinicians in the field of neurorehabilitation. The prospects of applying a population-based model to predict outcome in individual patients might ultimately allow more focused approaches to stroke rehabilitation and foster a better distribution of precious health care resources. Aside from anatomical biomarkers, such as the integrity of the corticospinal tract, recent attention has focused on the proportional recovery rule, formally proposed in this journal more than 10 years ago by Prabhakaran et al,1 who described a surprisingly linear relationship between Fugl-Meyer Assessment upper extremity scores obtained within 3 days after stroke and those obtained at 3 months poststroke, illustrating the general principle of spontaneous recovery with a level of predictability not previously appreciated. This relationship appears to hold for most individuals (so-called “fitters” or “recoverers”), but a subset of individuals (so-called “non-fitters” or “non-recoverers”) fall off the linear regression line. First applied to upper limb motor impairment, the proportional recovery rule has been examined in a variety of motor and nonmotor impairments, and results have generally been in agreement with the initial linear relationship. Recent controversy surrounding the proportional recovery rule has been based on statistical factors such as mathematical coupling and nonlinearity of outcome scales, questioning not only the accuracy but also the underlying validity of this predictive population-based model. Two articles in the current issue of Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair highlight some of the emerging views and suggestions for future research regarding this model. The first article by Senesh and Reinkensmeyer examines the reasons why “non-fitters” do not recover according to the proportional recovery algorithm. They argue that the local slope of the linear regression reflects the difficulty of test item scores related to arm and hand movement at follow-up, consistent with the view that non-fitters lack sufficient corticospinal tract. They suggest that at least some non-fitters may have a heightened response to intensive movement training and should be targeted early after stroke for such rehabilitative training. In the second article by Kundert et al, the statistical validity of the proportional recovery rule is examined in the context of recent criticisms regarding its underlying assumptions. Despite 2 recent articles critical of statistical relationships of baseline impairment scores to follow-up scores, especially when used for patient-level predictions, Kundert et al contend that the systematic non-artifactual relationship between initial impairment and motor recovery provides a valid statistical and biologically meaningful model, and that future studies of proportional recovery should use more sophisticated analysis techniques and rigorous methods to assess validity, including comparisons to alternative models.
Nowadays, recent advancements in ICT have sped up the development of new services for smart cities in different application domains. One of these is definitely healthcare. In this context, remote patient monitoring and rehabilitation activities can take place either in satellite hospital centres or directly in citizens’ homes. Specifically, using a combination of Cloud computing, Internet of Things (IoT) and big data analytics technologies, patients with motor disabilities can be remotely assisted avoiding stressful waiting times and overcoming geographical barriers. This paper focuses on the Tele-Rehabilitation as a Service (TRaaS) concept. Such a service generates healthcare big data coming from remote rehabilitation devices used by patients that need to be processed in the hospital Cloud. Specifically, after a feasibility analysis, by using a Lokomat dataset as sample, we measured and compared the performances of four of the major NoSQL DBMS(s) demonstrating that the document approach well suits our case study.
Purpose: Precise control of a car steering wheel requires adequate motor capability. Deficits in grip strength and force control after stroke could influence the ability steer a car. Our study aimed to determine the impact of stroke on car steering and identify the relative contribution of grip strength and grip force control to steering performance.
Methods: Twelve chronic stroke survivors and 12 controls performed three gripping tasks with each hand: maximum voluntary contraction, dynamic force tracking, and steering a car on a winding road in a simulated driving environment. We quantified grip strength, grip force variability, and deviation of the car from the center of the lane.
Results: The paretic hand exhibited reduced grip strength, increased grip force variability, and increased lane deviation compared with the non-dominant hand in controls. Grip force variability, but not grip strength, significantly predicted (R2 = 0.49, p < 0.05) lane deviation with the paretic hand.
Conclusion: Stroke impairs the steering ability of the paretic hand. Although grip strength and force control of the paretic hand are diminished after stroke, only grip force control predicts steering accuracy. Deficits in grip force control after stroke contribute to functional limitations in performing skilled tasks with the paretic hand.
Implications for rehabilitation
Driving is an important goal for independent mobility after stroke that requires motor capability to manipulate hand and foot controls.
Two prominent stroke-related motor impairments that may impact precise car steering are reduced grip strength and grip force control.
In individuals with mild-moderate impairments, deficits in grip force modulation rather than grip strength contribute to compromised steering performance with the paretic hand.
We recommend that driving rehabilitation should consider re-educating grip force modulation for successful driving outcomes post stroke.
Stroke has huge human and economic cost. 1 million people suffer strokes in Europe every year, with an average life expectancy after stroke of 8 years. Roughly 20% of stroke survivors suffer from drop foot, with 45 billion euros spent on rehabilitating stroke patients in Europe every year.
FES offers the tantalising prospect of retraining voluntary motor functions such as walking. However:
– FES rehabilitation must be carried out in a hospital with the support of trained healthcare professionals;
– Transporting patients and supervising treatment is expensive;
– Patient’s treatment plan is sub-optimal;
– Per patient rehabilitation costs reach 32,000 euros
Fesia WalkHome is a FES rehabilitation device for drop foot patients which can be administered by the patient in their own home. This not only reduces costs by 43% but also means patients can have an optimal treatment plan, improving their speed of recovery.
The use of Fesia Walk at home will give autonomy, independence and improve the quality of life for chronic patients. It will also mean a substantial reduction of waiting lists, health costs, number of physician office visits, and carer support.
WalkHome represents a disruptive change of paradigm for the FES rehabilitation standard of care. The aim of the phase 1 project is to improve our understanding of the EU market for FES rehabilitation, identifying regional market variations in terms of key decision makers, appropriate business models, pricing structure and identifying which are the most attractive markets for us to use as a beachhead. We will also analyse what key improvements need to be made to the existing technology to create the new FES home care rehabilitation market.
Currently, there is no FES rehabilitation technology that is offered outside of a clinical setting. We estimate that this new home FES rehabilitation market could be worth up to 40 billion euros in Europe alone.
The Bobath concept has long been used to improve postural control and limb function post-stroke, yet its effect in patients with deficits have not been clearly demonstrated. This study aimed to investigate the effect of the latest Bobath therapy programme on upper limb functions, muscle tone and sensation in chronic stroke individuals with moderate to severe deficits.
A pre–post test design was implemented. The participants were chronic stroke individuals (n=26). Home-based intervention based on the Bobath concept was administered 3 days per week for 6 weeks (20 repetitions × 3 sets per task each session). Outcome measures consisted of the Wolf Motor Function Test, Fugl-Meyer Assessment for the upper extremity, Modified Ashworth Scale, and the Revised Nottingham Sensory Assessment. Data were analysed using the Wilcoxon Signed rank test.
Almost all items of the Wolf Motor Function Test and the Fugl-Meyer Assessment for the upper extremity demonstrated statistically significant differences post-intervention. Finger flexor muscle tone and stereognosis were also significantly improved.
The 6-week Bobath therapy programme could improve upper limb function and impairments in chronic stroke individuals with moderate to severe deficits. Its effects were also demonstrated in improving muscle tone and cortical sensation.
Stroke is a global public health problem that leads to significant disabilities (World Health Organization, 2014). After discharge from a hospital, patients who have experienced stroke return to the community and many do not have access to physical therapy. Around 65% of patients who had experienced a stroke were unable to use their hemiparetic upper limb (Bruce and Dobkin, 2005). Those with moderate to severe arm deficits have difficulty in reaching to grasp, delay in time to maximal grip aperture, prolonged movement time, and a lack of accuracy (Michaelsen et al, 2009). A number of interventions have been proven to be effective in improving upper limb function post-stroke. However, there is little evidence of the effectiveness of these interventions for those with severe deficits.
The therapy programme based on the Bobath concept has been shown to improve upper limb function in individuals who have experienced chronic stroke (Huseyinsinoglu et al, 2012; Carvalho et al, 2018). The Bobath concept has been in evolution and the present clinical framework incorporates the integration of postural control and quality of task performance, selective movement, and the role of sensory information to promote normal movement pattern. Therapeutic activities involved movement facilitation together with patient’s active participation in practice to improve motor learning; nevertheless, implementation time varied across studies (Vaughan-Graham et al, 2009; Vaughan-Graham and Cott, 2016).
Among the few studies of patients with chronic stroke, none focused on the rehabilitation of patients with different degrees of deficit severity in the community. Moreover, previous studies using the Bobath concept were all conducted in clinical settings (Platz et al, 2005; Huseyinsinoglu et al, 2012).[…]