Posts Tagged home therapy

[REVIEW] Strategies to implement and monitor in-home transcranial electrical stimulation in neurological and psychiatric patient populations: a systematic review – Full Text

Abstract

Background

Transcranial electrical stimulation is a promising technique to facilitate behavioural improvements in neurological and psychiatric populations. Recently there has been interest in remote delivery of stimulation within a participant’s home.

Objective

The purpose of this review is to identify strategies employed to implement and monitor in-home stimulation and identify whether these approaches are associated with protocol adherence, adverse events and patient perspectives.

Methods

MEDLINE, Embase Classic + Embase, Emcare and PsycINFO databases and clinical trial registries were searched to identify studies which reported primary data for any type of transcranial electrical stimulation applied as a home-based treatment.

Results

Nineteen published studies from unique trials and ten on-going trials were included. For published data, internal validity was assessed with the Cochrane risk of bias assessment tool with most studies exhibiting a high level of bias possibly reflecting the preliminary nature of current work. Several different strategies were employed to prepare the participant, deliver and monitor the in-home transcranial electrical stimulation. The use of real time videoconferencing to monitor in-home transcranial electrical stimulation appeared to be associated with higher levels of compliance with the stimulation protocol and greater participant satisfaction. There were no severe adverse events associated with in-home stimulation.

Conclusions

Delivery of transcranial electrical stimulation within a person’s home offers many potential benefits and appears acceptable and safe provided appropriate preparation and monitoring is provided. Future in-home transcranial electrical stimulation studies should use real-time videoconferencing as one of the approaches to facilitate delivery of this potentially beneficial treatment.

Introduction

Transcranial electrical stimulation (tES) is a technique used to modulate cortical function and human behaviour. It involves weak current passing through the scalp via surface electrodes to stimulate the underlying brain. A common type of tES is transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). Several studies have demonstrated tDCS is capable of modulating cortical function, depending on the direction of current flow [123]. When the anode is positioned over a cortical region, the current causes depolarisation of the neuronal cells, increasing spontaneous firing rates [4]. Conversely, positioning the cathode over the target cortical region causes hyperpolarisation and a decrease in spontaneous firing rates [4]. This modulation of cortical activity can be observed beyond the period of stimulation and is thought to be mediated by mechanisms which resemble long term potentiation and depression [5]. Along similar lines, transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) and transcranial random noise stimulation (tRNS) are also forms of tES. Both tACS and tRNS are thought to interact with ongoing oscillatory cortical rhythms in a frequency dependent manner to influence human behaviour [678].

The ability of tES to selectively modulate cortical activity offers a promising tool to induce behavioural change. Indeed, several studies have demonstrated that tES may be a favourable approach to reduce impairment following stroke [9], improve symptoms of neglect [10], or reduce symptoms of depression [11]. While these results appear promising, there remains debate around technical aspects of stimulation along with individual participant characteristics that may influence the reliability of a stimulation response [1213141516171819202122]. However, current evidence does suggest that effects of stimulation may be cumulative, with greater behavioural improvements observed following repeated stimulation sessions [20]. Furthermore, tES has shown potential as a tool for maintenance stimulation, with potential relapses of depression managed by stimulation which continued over several months [2324]. Therefore, it may be that repeated stimulation sessions will become a hallmark of future clinical and research trials aiming to improve behavioural outcomes. This would require participants to attend frequent treatment sessions applied over a number of days, months or years. Given that many participants who are likely to benefit from stimulation are those with higher levels of motor or cognitive impairment, the requirement to travel regularly for treatment may present a barrier, limiting potential clinical utility or ability to recruit suitable research participants [25]. In addition, regular daily treatments would also hinder those who travel from remote destinations to receive this potentially beneficial neuromodulation. Therefore, there is a requirement to consider approaches to safely and effectively deliver stimulation away from the traditional locations of research departments or clinical facilities.

One benefit of tES over other forms of non-invasive brain stimulation, such as repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation, is the ability to easily transport the required equipment. This opportunity may allow for stimulation to be delivered in a participant’s home, which could represent the mode of delivery for future clinical applications. However, it may be unreasonable to expect that a participant would be capable of managing delivery of tES alone and would likely require some form of training and/or monitoring [25]. Although tES is considered relatively safe [26], stimulation should be delivered within established guidelines to avoid adverse events [27]. Inappropriate delivery of stimulation could result in neural damage, detrimental behavioural effects, irritation, burns or lesions of the skin [282930313233]. Therefore, in order to deliver stimulation safely to the appropriate cortical region, it is likely that in-home stimulation may require some form of monitoring [25].

It is currently unclear what the best approach is to implement and monitor in-home tES. An early paper proposed several guidelines to perform in home tES [34]. However, these guidelines were not based on evidence from published clinical trials as there were none available at the time of publication. One recent systematic review sought to discuss current work in this area and highlighted the need for further research to investigate safety, technical monitoring and assessment of efficacy [35]. Given the recent, and growing, interest in home-based brain stimulation, we felt it was now pertinent to conduct a review to specifically identify strategies employed to implement and monitor the use of in-home tES in neurological and psychiatric populations. The secondary questions were to report protocol adherence, adverse events and patient perspectives of in-home tES. Understanding optimal treatment fidelity for in-home brain stimulation will be instrumental to achieving higher levels of tES useability and acceptance within a participant’s home.[…]

 

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Fig. 2 Cochrane risk of bias tool was used to assess quality of included studies

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[WEB SITE] Study shows in-home therapy effective for stroke rehabilitation

stroke

A blood clot forming in the carotid artery. Credit: copyright American Heart Association

In-home rehabilitation, using a telehealth system and supervised by licensed occupational/physical therapists, is an effective means of improving arm motor status in stroke survivors, according to findings presented by University of California, Irvine neurologist Steven C. Cramer, MD, at the recent 2018 European Stroke Organisation Conference in Gothenburg, Sweden.

“Motor deficits are a major contributor to post-stroke disability, and we know that occupational and physical  improve patient outcomes in a supervised ,” said Cramer, a professor of neurology in the UCI School of Medicine. “Since many patients receive suboptimal therapy doses for reasons that include cost, availability, and difficulty with travel, we wanted to determine whether a comprehensive in-home telehealth therapy program could be as effective as in-clinic rehabilitation.”

In a study conducted at 11 U.S. sites, 124  underwent six weeks of intensive arm motor therapy, with half receiving traditional supervised in-clinic therapy and half undergoing an in-home rehabilitation program supervised via a videoconferenced telemedicine system.

Subjects were on average 61 years old, 4.5 months post-stroke, and had moderate arm motor deficits at study entry. When examined 30 days after the end of therapy, subjects in the in-clinic group improved by 8.4 points on the Fugl-Meyer scale, which measures arm motor status and ranges from 0 to 66, with higher numbers being better. Subjects in the telerehab group improved by 7.9 points, a difference that was not statistically significant.

“The current findings support the utility of a computer-based system in the home, used under the supervision of a licensed therapist, to provide clinically meaningful rehab therapy,” Cramer said. “Future applications might examine longer-term treatment, pair home-based telerehab with long-term dosing of a restorative drug, treat other neurological domains affected by stroke (such as language, memory, or gait), or expand the home treatment system to build out a smart home for stroke recovery.”

He said that the demand for rehabilitation services will likely increase, due to an aging population and increased stroke survival as a result of better access to advanced acute care. Telehealth, defined as the delivery of health-related services and information via telecommunication technologies, can potentially address this growing unmet need.

“We reasoned that telerehabilitation is ideally suited to efficiently provide a large dose of useful rehab therapy after stroke,” said Cramer, whose research team is part of the NIH StrokeNet consortium.

This research builds on the findings of a pilot study of 12 patients with late subacute  and arm-motor deficits who were provided 28 days of home-based telerehab program. The results, published in November 2017 in the journal Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair, found that patient compliance was excellent (97.9%) and participants experienced significant arm-motor gains (Fugl-Meyer scale increase of 4.8 points). The study also found that patients did not need any additional computer skills training due to the design of the telerehab system.

“Getting patients to remain engaged and comply with therapy is a key measure of success of any rehabilitation program,” Cramer said. “Greater gains are associated with therapy that is challenging, motivating, accompanied by appropriate feedback, interesting and relevant. Telerehab achieves this because therapy is provided through games, provides user feedback, can be adjusted based on individual needs, is easy to use—and is fun.”

This study was supported by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development as well as the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (grant U01 NS091951), the NIH StrokeNet Clinical Trials Network, the 11 US enrollment sites, the research team at the primary study site at the University of California, Irvine, and the patients and families who participated.

 

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[ARTICLE] Home-based hand rehabilitation after chronic stroke: Randomized, controlled single-blind trial comparing the MusicGlove with a conventional exercise program

Abstract — Individuals with chronic stroke have limited options for hand rehabilitation at home. Here, we sought to determine the feasibility and efficacy of home-based MusicGlove therapy. Seventeen participants with moderate hand impairment in the chronic phase of stroke were randomized to 3 wk of home-based exercise with either the MusicGlove or conventional tabletop exercises. The primary outcome measure was the change in the Box and Blocks test score from baseline to 1 mo post treatment. Both groups significantly improved their Box and Blocks test score, but no significant difference was found between groups. The MusicGlove group did exhibit significantly greater improvements than the conventional exercise group in Motor Activity Log Quality of Movement and Amount of Use scores 1 mo posttherapy (p = 0.007 and p = 0.04, respectively). Participants significantly increased their use of MusicGlove over time, completing 466 gripping movements per day on average at study end. MusicGlove therapy was not superior to conventional tabletop exercises for the primary end point but was nevertheless feasible and led to a significantly greater increase in self-reported functional use and quality of movement of the impaired hand than conventional home exercises.

 

INTRODUCTION

Hand impairment after stroke contributes substantially to disability in the United States and around the world [1]. Intensive movement practice can reduce hand impairment [2–6], but issues such as cost and access may limit the dose of rehabilitation exercise delivered one-on-one with a therapist. Because of these and other factors, most individuals do not perform the large number of exercise repetitions required during therapy to maximize recovery [7–8]. Home-based rehabilitation programs may be prescribed after stroke with the intent to increase the amount of rehabilitation exercise individuals perform. However, the most common approach to home-based hand therapy is following a printed handout of exercises. This approach is often not motivating and thus is associated with low compliance and high dropout rates [9–13].

To address this problem, other types of home-based rehabilitation programs for the hand have been proposed. For example, one pilot study explored a modified form of constraint-induced movement therapy performed under the supervision of a nonprofessional coach in the home and found similar benefits to the same program performed with a trained therapist in a clinic [14]; a larger study using this protocol found that home-based constraint-induced movement therapy led to significantly greater self-reported use of the impaired limb than conventional therapy [15]. Another common approach is telerehabilitation, which allows a therapist to guide therapy remotely [16]. While this approach is gaining popularity, a recent Cochrane systematic review of 10 trials with 933 total participants found limited evidence to support its use and no studies that examined its cost-effectiveness [17]. Other approaches to home-based hand rehabilitation include functional electrical stimulation [18], computer gaming with custom devices [19–21], and music-based therapy [22]. However, despite the variety of options, few home-based programs have been tested in controlled studies [23]. Further, it is still unclear which methods are the most effective and efficient means of providing an increased dose of rehabilitation, though the use of computer games and music has been found to be highly motivating [20,24–26].

We developed the MusicGlove, an instrumented glove with sensors on each of the fingertips and the lateral aspect of the index finger. The MusicGlove requires the user to practice functional gripping movements by touching the sensor on the tip of the thumb to one of the other five sensors in time with music through a video game that displays scrolling notes on a screen (Figure 1). In previous pilot studies performed in a clinical setting, we found that the MusicGlove motivated individuals with chronic stroke to perform hundreds of functional gripping movements during a 30 min training session and that exercise with the device led to a significantly greater improvement in hand grasping ability, measured with the Box and Blocks test, than a time-matched dose of conventional tabletop therapy performed with a rehabilitation therapist [27–28]. The individuals who used the MusicGlove also reported that the exercise was more motivating than conventional therapy and expressed interest in using the device to exercise at home. An important question, therefore, was whether self-guided exercise with the MusicGlove performed at home is feasible and improves hand function compared with conventional home therapy.

Figure 1. MusicGlove device used in study. Users are visually cued by scrolling notes on screen (top) to make specific grips in time with popular songs, similar to the video game Guitar Hero. Grips include (a) key pinch grip; (b) pincer grip; and (c) finger-thumb opposition with second, third, and fourth fingers. During gameplay, the user must complete the cued grip when a colored note passes over the starred strip shown at bottom of the game screen (time window of about 800 ms). If the user is successful, the colored note disappears, providing visual feedback. If the user is unsuccessful, a beep is played, providing auditory feedback.

Figure 1. MusicGlove device used in study. Users are visually cued by scrolling notes on screen (top) to make specific grips in time with popular songs, similar to the video game Guitar Hero. Grips include (a) key pinch grip; (b) pincer grip; and (c) finger-thumb opposition with second, third, and fourth fingers. During gameplay, the user must complete the cued grip when a colored note passes over the starred strip shown at bottom of the game screen (time window of about 800 ms). If the user is successful, the colored note disappears, providing visual feedback. If the user is unsuccessful, a beep is played, providing auditory feedback.

Continue —> Home-based hand rehabilitation after chronic stroke: Randomized, controlled single-blind trial comparing the MusicGlove with a conventional exercise program

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