Although published literature and evidence to support medical practice is becoming more abundant, it is not known how well available evidence supports the full spectrum of hand therapy practice.
The aim of this mapping review was to identify strengths and/or gaps in the available literature as compared with the hand therapy scope of practice to guide future research.
A systematic search and screening was conducted to identify evidence published from 2006 to 2015. Descriptive data from 191 studies were extracted, and the diagnoses, interventions, and outcomes used in the literature were compared with the hand therapy scope of practice.
Osteoarthritis, tendon surgeries, and carpal tunnel syndrome were most frequently studied. Exercise, education, and orthotic interventions were most common, each used in more than 100 studies; only 12 studies used activity-based interventions. Primary outcome measures included range of motion, pain/symptoms, strength, and functional status.
Abundant high-quality research exists for a portion of the hand therapy scope of practice; however, there is a paucity of evidence for numerous diagnoses and interventions.
More evidence is needed for complex diagnoses and activity-based interventions as well as behavioral and quality-of-care outcomes.
The need for cost-effective neurorehabilitation is driving investment into technologies for patient assessment and treatment. Translation of these technologies into clinical practice is limited by a paucity of evidence for cost-effectiveness. Methodological issues, including lack of agreement on assessment methods, limit the value of meta-analyses of trials. In this paper we report the consensus reached on assessment protocols and outcome measures for evaluation of the upper extremity in neurorehabilitation using technology. The outcomes of this research will be part of the development of European guidelines.
A rigorous, systematic and comprehensive modified Delphi study incorporated questions and statements generation, design and piloting of consensus questionnaire and five consensus experts groups consisting of clinicians, clinical researchers, non-clinical researchers, and engineers, all with working experience of neurological assessments or technologies. For data analysis, two major groups were created: i) clinicians (e.g., practicing therapists and medical doctors) and ii) researchers (clinical and non-clinical researchers (e.g. movement scientists, technology developers and engineers).
Fifteen questions or statements were identified during an initial ideas generation round, following which the questionnaire was designed and piloted. Subsequently, questions and statements went through five consensus rounds over 20 months in four European countries. Two hundred eight participants: 60 clinicians (29 %), 35 clinical researchers (17 %), 77 non-clinical researchers (37 %) and 35 engineers (17 %) contributed. At each round questions and statements were added and others removed. Consensus (≥69 %) was obtained for 22 statements on i) the perceived importance of recommendations; ii) the purpose of measurement; iii) use of a minimum set of measures; iv) minimum number, timing and duration of assessments; v) use of technology-generated assessments and the restriction of clinical assessments to validated outcome measures except in certain circumstances for research.
Consensus was reached by a large international multidisciplinary expert panel on measures and protocols for assessment of the upper limb in research and clinical practice. Our results will inform the development of best practice for upper extremity assessment using technologies, and the formulation of evidence-based guidelines for the evaluation of upper extremity neurorehabilitation.
Continue —> Evaluation of upper extremity neurorehabilitation using technology: a European Delphi consensus study within the EU COST Action Network on Robotics for Neurorehabilitation | Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation | Full Text
Introduction Despite the increased interest in telerehabilitation (TR), virtual reality (VR) and outcome measures for stroke rehabilitation, surprisingly little research has been done to map and identify the most common outcome measures used in TR. For this review, we conducted a systematic search of the literature that reports outcome measures used in TR or VR for stroke rehabilitation. Our specific objectives included: 1) to identify the outcome measures used in TR and VR studies; and 2) to describe which parts of the International Classification of Functioning are measured in the studies.
Methods We conducted a comprehensive search of relevant electronic databases (e.g. PubMed, the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, Embase, PSYCOINFO, The Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trial and the Physiotherapy Evidence Database). The scoping review included all study designs. Two reviewers conducted pilot testing of the data extraction forms and independently screened all the studies and extracted the data. Disagreements about inclusion or exclusion were resolved by consensus or by consulting a third reviewer.
Results In total, 28 studies were included in this scoping review. The results were synthesized and reported considering the implications of the findings within the clinical practice and policy context.
Discussion This scoping review identified a wide range of outcome measures used in VR and TR studies and helped identify gaps in current use of outcome measures in the literature. The review also informs researchers and end users (i.e. clinicians, policymakers and researchers) regarding the most appropriate outcome measures for TR or VR.
Establishing which upper limb outcome measures are most commonly used in stroke studies may help in improving consensus among scientists and clinicians.
In this study we aimed to identify the most commonly used upper limb outcome measures in intervention studies after stroke and to describe domains covered according to ICF, how measures are combined, and how their use varies geographically and over time.
Pubmed, CinHAL, and PeDRO databases were searched for upper limb intervention studies in stroke according to PRISMA guidelines and477 studies were included.
In studies 48different outcome measures were found. Only 15 of these outcome measures were used in more than 5% of the studies. The Fugl-Meyer Test (FMT)was the most commonly used measure (in 36% of studies). Commonly used measures covered ICF domains of body function and activity to varying extents. Most studies (72%) combined multiple outcome measures: the FMT was often combined with the Motor Activity Log (MAL), the Wolf Motor Function Test and the Action Research Arm Test, but infrequently combined with the Motor Assessment Scale or the Nine Hole Peg Test. Key components of manual dexterity such as selective finger movements were rarely measured. Frequency of use increased over a twelve-year period for the FMT and for assessments of kinematics, whereas other measures, such as the MAL and the Jebsen Taylor Hand Test showed decreased use over time. Use varied largely between countries showing low international consensus.
The results showed a large diversity of outcome measures used across studies. However, a growing number of studies used the FMT, a neurological test with good psychometric properties. For thorough assessment the FMT needs to be combined with functional measures. These findings illustrate the need for strategies to build international consensus on appropriate outcome measures for upper limb function after stroke.
This chapter reviews the evolution of stroke rehabilitation in the last 20 years. It begins by describing the different types of stroke that can occur in adults, their potential consequences on a person’s capacity to function in daily life and statistics on the number of strokes and their burden on families and the economy.
The assessment of stroke severity, recovery of function over time, and the impact of initial stroke severity and age on potential recovery are then addressed as well as the concept of rehabilitation to enhance recovery. Fueled by the synthesis of an ever-increasing research knowledge base and the creation of stroke rehabilitation recommendations for optimal delivery of rehabilitation services and of therapeutic interventions, stroke rehabilitation has changed dramatically.
Examples of improvements in stroke rehabilitation in Canada are given with emphasis on the “best practices” inspired stroke rehabilitation continuum recently recommended for the Province of Quebec. The need for an improved community-based rehabilitation approach that includes regular follow-ups and community-based programs promoting reintegration is emphasized. The importance of knowledge translation strategies to promote the uptake of best-practice recommendations is illustrated by describing the activities of the Sensorimotor Rehabilitation Research Team.
Over the past 3 years, the researchers of this team and clinicians in three rehabilitation centers, two in Montreal and one in Quebec City, have collaborated to adopt standardized assessment tools, create a common stroke registry, a best-practice recommended approach to interventions and the participation of clinicians in the research process.
This pilot study tested the effectiveness of an intense, short-term upper-limb robotic therapy for improvement in motor outcomes among chronic stroke patients. We enrolled 30 subjects with upper-limb deficits due to stroke of at least 6 mo duration and with a Motor Power Assessment grade of 3 or less. Over 3 wk, 18 sessions of robot-assisted task-specific therapy were delivered with the use of a robotic exercise device that simulates a conventional therapy known as skateboard therapy.
Primary outcome measures included reliable, validated impairment and disability measures of upper-limb motor function. Statistically significant improvements were observed for severely impaired participants when we compared baseline and posttreatment outcomes (p < 0.05).
These results are important because they indicate that improvement is not limited to those with moderate impairments but is possible among severely impaired chronic stroke patients as well. Moderately and severely impaired patients in our study were able to tolerate a massed-practice therapy paradigm with intensive, frequent, and repetitive treatment. This information is useful in determining the optimal target population, intensity, and duration of robotic therapy and sample size for a planned larger trial.
Background: It is thought that therapy should be functional, be highly repetitive, and promote afferent input to best stimulate hand motor recovery after stroke, yet patients struggle to access such therapy. We developed the MusicGlove, an instrumented glove that requires the user to practice gripping-like movements and thumb-finger opposition to play a highly engaging, music-based, video game.The purpose of this study was to 1) compare the effect of training with MusicGlove to conventional hand therapy 2) determine if MusicGlove training was more effective than a matched form of isometric hand movement training; and 3) determine if MusicGlove game scores predict clinical outcomes.
Methods: 12 chronic stroke survivors with moderate hemiparesis were randomly assigned to receive MusicGlove, isometric, and conventional hand therapy in a within-subjects design. Each subject participated in six one-hour treatment sessions three times per week for two weeks, for each training type, for a total of 18 treatment sessions. A blinded rater assessed hand impairment before and after each training type and at one-month follow-up including the Box and Blocks (B & B) test as the primary outcome measure. Subjects also completed the Intrinsic Motivation Inventory (IMI).
Results: Subjects improved hand function related to grasping small objects more after MusicGlove compared to conventional training, as measured by the B & B score (improvement of 3.21±3.82 vs. -0.29±2.27 blocks; P=0.010) and the 9 Hole Peg test (improvement of 2.14±2.98 vs. -0.85±1.29 pegs/minute; P=0.005). There was no significant difference between training types in the broader assessment batteries of hand function. Subjects benefited less from isometric therapy than MusicGlove training, but the difference was not significant (P>0.09). Subjects sustained improvements in hand function at a one month follow-up, and found the MusicGlove more motivating than the other two therapies, as measured by the IMI. MusicGlove games scores correlated strongly with the B & B score.
Conclusions: These results support the hypothesis that hand therapy that is engaging, incorporates high numbers of repetitions of gripping and thumb-finger opposition movements, and promotes afferent input is a promising approach to improving an individual’s ability to manipulate small objects. The MusicGlove provides a simple way to access such therapy.
Keywords: Stroke rehabilitation device, Hand, Music therapy, Video game therapy, Stroke assessment, Outcome measures