Posts Tagged physical therapy

[Abstract] User performance evaluation and real-time guidance in cloud-based physical therapy monitoring and guidance system

Abstract

The effectiveness of traditional physical therapy may be limited by the sparsity of time a patient can spend with the physical therapist (PT) and the inherent difficulty of self-training given the paper/figure/video instructions provided to the patient with no way to monitor and ensure compliance with the instructions.

In this paper, we propose a cloud-based physical therapy monitoring and guidance system. It is able to record the actions of the PT as he/she demonstrates a task to the patient in an offline session, and render the PT as an avatar. The patient can later train himself by following the PT avatar and getting real-time guidance on his/her device.

Since the PT and user (patient) motion sequences may be misaligned due to human reaction and network delays, we propose a Gesture-Based Dynamic Time Warping algorithm that can segment the user motion sequence into gestures, and align and evaluate the gesture sub-sequences, all in real time. We develop an evaluation model to quantify user performance based on different criteria provided by the PT for a task, trained with offline subjective test data consisting of user performance and physical therapist scores. Moreover, we design three types of guidance which can be provided after each gesture based on user score, and conduct subjective tests to validate their effectiveness.

Experiments with multiple subjects show that the proposed system can effectively train patients, give accurate evaluation scores, and provide real-time guidance which helps the patients learn the tasks and reach the satisfactory score with less time.

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via User performance evaluation and real-time guidance in cloud-based physical therapy monitoring and guidance system | SpringerLink

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[WEB SITE] What is Computer Assisted Rehabilitation Environment (CAREN)?

We’re the only private clinic in the US using a Computer Assisted Rehabilitation Environment—a state of the art rehabilitation technology developed for the military. Traditionally, physical therapists taught healthy movement by demonstrating a motion, then correcting patients as they repeat it. At our clinic, patients interact with a virtual reality environment while CAREN captures their motion with 12 infrared cameras and provides real-time feedback. By removing human error from physical therapy, we save time and can deliver unparalleled results.

We are thrilled to be able to offer our patients treatment using Computer Assisted Rehabilitation Environment (CAREN) is a versatile, multi sensory Virtual Reality system for treatment and rehabilitation of the human locomotion (walking), back pain, posture, balance , spinal stability and motor control integration. A physical therapist can name every muscle in the body, but if they asked you to put more force on the deltoid or the adductor longus muscle, would you know what they meant? The fact is that physical therapy is a constant back-and-forth interaction between the patient and the therapist. The therapist has to communicate the right motions to strengthen and move the muscles, the patient has to take that command and execute the required motion. The therapist must then evaluate the motion and decide whether the exercise served its purpose or the motion needs to be adjusted. In this scenario, it can be hard for the patient to understand how to move properly and the therapist may not be able to see which muscles were used to complete the motion. If a patient favors one muscle group over another, it may be that the ones that actually need the work never get the appropriate attention. Now, with a revolutionary tool for physical therapy sessions that use a Computer Assisted Rehabilitation Environment (CAREN), these types of issues are no longer a concern. This virtual reality tool creates a simulated environment whereby people who have suffered an injury can receive physical therapy in a way that makes it clear what muscles are being activated. The computer assisted rehabilitation environment is like walking into a Star Trek holodeck in its ability to immerse the patient in a variety of virtual environments with games or exercises programmed to help with specific motor actions. The floor of the deck consists of a circular platform, three meters in diameter, that integrates a treadmill and a force plate to measure the movements on the platform. The patient is strapped into a harness to remove any fear of falling. Then, sensors and reflective strips are put on the body. Twelve cameras sit around the platform getting a 360 degree view of the motion as the patient attempts to do the exercises or run through the virtual program which plays on the screen in front of them. These measurements can then provide real-time feedback during the program to help the patient improve their performance. […]

Visit SITE  —> What is Computer Assisted Rehabilitation Environment (CAREN)?

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[ARTICLE] Gym-based exercise was more costly compared with home-based exercise with telephone support when used as maintenance programs for adults with chronic health conditions: cost-effectiveness analysis of a randomised trial – Full Text

Abstract

Question

What is the comparative cost-effectiveness of a gym-based maintenance exercise program versus a home-based maintenance program with telephone support for adults with chronic health conditions who have previously completed a short-term, supervised group exercise program?

Design

A randomised, controlled trial with blinded outcome assessment at baseline and at 3, 6, 9 and 12 months. The economic evaluation took the form of a trial-based, comparative, incremental cost-utility analysis undertaken from a societal perspective with a 12-month time horizon.

Participants

People with chronic health conditions who had completed a 6-week exercise program at a community health service.

Interventions

One group of participants received a gym-based exercise program and health coaching for 12 months. The other group received a home-based exercise program and health coaching for 12 months with telephone follow-up for the first 10 weeks.

Outcome measures

Healthcare costs were collected from government databases and participant self-report, productivity costs from self-report, and health utility was measured using the European Quality of Life Instrument (EQ-5D-3L).

Results

Of the 105 participants included in this trial, 100 provided sufficient cost and utility measurements to enable inclusion in the economic analyses. Gym-based follow-up would cost an additional AUD491,572 from a societal perspective to gain 1 quality-adjusted life year or 1 year gained in perfect health compared with the home-based approach. There was considerable uncertainty in this finding, in that there was a 37% probability that the home-based approach was both less costly and more effective than the gym-based approach.

Conclusion

The gym-based approach was more costly than the home-based maintenance intervention with telephone support. The uncertainty of these findings suggests that if either intervention is already established in a community setting, then the other intervention is unlikely to replace it efficiently.

Introduction

Chronic conditions that are related to physical inactivity, such as coronary heart disease, type II diabetes and stroke, are estimated to result in direct healthcare costs of over AUD377 million per year in Australia.1 ;  2 Implementing strategies to increase physical activity in adults with chronic health conditions may be an effective way of reducing the economic impact in Australia. Short-term (ie, 4 to 6 week) supervised interventions, such as cardiac and pulmonary phase II rehabilitation programs, have been shown to be effective in improving quality of life and reducing morbidity and healthcare costs.3 ;  4However, there is evidence to suggest that once the program is completed, adherence to exercise declines along with the health benefits obtained.5 Hence, there is a need to provide interventions to promote long-term exercise adherence after the completion of a short-term exercise program.

A recent review of this field identified two commonly investigated approaches to improve ongoing exercise adherence for adults with chronic health conditions: home-based exercise programs with telephone follow-up, and gym-based exercise programs.6 That review and meta-analysis found no difference in exercise adherence rates between these interventions. Furthermore, it identified no economic evaluations examining the comparative efficiency of the two approaches.

There is an ongoing need to identify efficient means of promoting adherence to exercise in the long term, in order to improve the quality of life of adults with chronic health conditions. The aim of the current study was to examine the economic efficiency of home-based maintenance with telephone follow-up compared with gym-based maintenance exercise amongst adults with a variety of chronic conditions who had completed a short-term supervised exercise program led by a health professional.

Therefore, the study question for this economic analysis of that randomised trial was:

What is the comparative cost-effectiveness of a gym-based maintenance exercise program versus a home-based maintenance program with telephone support for adults with chronic health conditions who have previously completed a short-term, supervised group exercise program?

[…]

Continue —> Gym-based exercise was more costly compared with home-based exercise with telephone support when used as maintenance programs for adults with chronic health conditions: cost-effectiveness analysis of a randomised trial

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[WEB SITE] Games, Gloves, and Grip: PTs Rehab Arms and Hands Post-Stroke With YouGrabber

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Playing virtual reality games could be as effective as adding extra physical therapy sessions to a stroke patient’s rehab regimen, according to researchers.

“It is not a question of choosing one thing over the other, rather of having different training alternatives to provide variation,” says Iris Brunner, author of a study, published recently in Neurology, that explored a variety of medical uses for virtual reality.

“Virtual reality cannot replace physical therapy. But it can be experienced as a game, motivating patients to do an extra treatment session,” adds Brunner, associate professor with the University of Aarhus and Hammel Neurocenter, in Denmark.

Brunner and her team’s study included 120 stroke patients with mild to severe hand weakness, all of whom were randomly assigned to add 16 hour-long therapy sessions to their routine rehabilitation over a month. One group performed physical therapy, while the other group played a virtual reality game called YouGrabber, notes a media release from HealthDay.

In the game, Brunner explains, “the patients wear gloves with sensors, and their movements are tracked by an infrared camera and transferred to a virtual arm on screen.”

“In different scenarios, they can grasp objects that come toward them or pick carrots. In other games, patients steer a plane or a car with their movement. The therapist chooses the movements to be trained and the level of difficulty.”

Fifty patients in the physical therapy group and 52 in the virtual reality group completed the study and were evaluated after 3 months.

The researchers found no difference between the two groups with regard to the improvement in their hand and arm function.

“Patients who started out with moderately to mildly impaired arm and hand motor function achieved, on average, a level of good motor function,” Brunner states, while those with severe weakness were able to use their arms to make movements.

Patients with severe hand weakness appreciated how even small movements translated to the virtual arms on screen, she adds. And even the older patients liked the virtual reality game, she notes, possibly because the graphics are simpler than those in commercial video games.

Brunner concludes by noting that larger studies are needed to understand the potential value of virtual reality as a stroke recovery treatment.

[Source: HealthDay]

 

via Games, Gloves, and Grip: PTs Rehab Arms and Hands Post-Stroke With YouGrabber – Rehab Managment

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[Abstract] Motor Imagery Training After Stroke: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

Abstract

Background and Purpose: A number of studies have suggested that imagery training (motor imagery [MI]) has value for improving motor function in persons with neurologic conditions. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to assess the available literature related to efficacy of MI in the recovery of individuals after stroke.

Methods: We searched the following databases: PubMed, Web of Knowledge, Scopus, Cochrane, and PEDro. Two reviewers independently selected clinical trials that investigated the effect of MI on outcomes commonly investigated in studies of stroke recovery. Quality and risk of bias of each study were assessed.

Results: Of the 1156 articles found, 32 articles were included. There was a high heterogeneity of protocols among studies. Most studies showed benefits of MI, albeit with a large proportion of low-quality studies. The meta-analysis of all studies, regardless of quality, revealed significant differences on overall analysis for outcomes related to balance, lower limb/gait, and upper limb. However, when only high-quality studies were included, no significant difference was found. On subgroup analyses, MI was associated with balance gains on the Functional Reach Test and improved performance on the Timed Up and Go, gait speed, Action Research Arm Test, and the Fugl-Meyer Upper Limb subscale.

Discussion and Conclusions: Our review reported a high heterogeneity in methodological quality of the studies and conflicting results. More high-quality studies and greater standardization of interventions are needed to determine the value of MI for persons with stroke.

Video Abstract available for more insights from the authors (see Video, Supplemental Digital Content 1, http://links.lww.com/JNPT/A188).

Source: Motor Imagery Training After Stroke: A Systematic Review an… : Journal of Neurologic Physical Therapy

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[ARTICLE] Domiciliary VR-Based Therapy for Functional Recovery and Cortical Reorganization: Randomized Controlled Trial in Participants at the Chronic Stage Post Stroke – Full Text

ABSTRACT

Background: Most stroke survivors continue to experience motor impairments even after hospital discharge. Virtual reality-based techniques have shown potential for rehabilitative training of these motor impairments. Here we assess the impact of at-home VR-based motor training on functional motor recovery, corticospinal excitability and cortical reorganization.

Objective: The aim of this study was to identify the effects of home-based VR-based motor rehabilitation on (1) cortical reorganization, (2) corticospinal tract, and (3) functional recovery after stroke in comparison to home-based occupational therapy.

Methods: We conducted a parallel-group, controlled trial to compare the effectiveness of domiciliary VR-based therapy with occupational therapy in inducing motor recovery of the upper extremities. A total of 35 participants with chronic stroke underwent 3 weeks of home-based treatment. A group of subjects was trained using a VR-based system for motor rehabilitation, while the control group followed a conventional therapy. Motor function was evaluated at baseline, after the intervention, and at 12-weeks follow-up. In a subgroup of subjects, we used Navigated Brain Stimulation (NBS) procedures to measure the effect of the interventions on corticospinal excitability and cortical reorganization.

Results: Results from the system’s recordings and clinical evaluation showed significantly greater functional recovery for the experimental group when compared with the control group (1.53, SD 2.4 in Chedoke Arm and Hand Activity Inventory). However, functional improvements did not reach clinical significance. After the therapy, physiological measures obtained from a subgroup of subjects revealed an increased corticospinal excitability for distal muscles driven by the pathological hemisphere, that is, abductor pollicis brevis. We also observed a displacement of the centroid of the cortical map for each tested muscle in the damaged hemisphere, which strongly correlated with improvements in clinical scales.

Conclusions: These findings suggest that, in chronic stages, remote delivery of customized VR-based motor training promotes functional gains that are accompanied by neuroplastic changes.

Introduction

After initial hospitalization, many stroke patients return home relatively soon despite still suffering from impairments that require continuous rehabilitation [1]. Therefore, ¼ to ¾ of patients display persistent functional limitations for a period of 3 to 6 months after stroke [2]. Although clinicians may prescribe a home exercise regimen, reports indicate that only one-third of patients actually accomplish it [3]. Consequently, substantial gains in health-related quality of life during inpatient stroke rehabilitation may be followed by equally substantial declines in the 6 months after discharge [4]. Multiple studies have shown, however, that supported discharge combined with at home rehabilitation services does not compromise clinical inpatient outcomes [57] and may enhance recovery in subacute stroke patients [8]. Hence, it is essential that new approaches are deployed that help to manage chronic conditions associated with stroke, including domiciliary interventions [9] and the augmentation of current rehabilitation approaches in order to enhance their efficiency. There should be increased provision of home-based rehabilitation services for community-based adults following stroke, taking cost-effectiveness, and a quick family and social reintegration into account [10].

One of the latest approaches in rehabilitation science is based on the use of robotics and virtual reality (VR), which allow remote delivery of customized treatment by combining dedicated interface devices with automatized training scenarios [1012]. Several studies have tested the acceptability of VR-based setups as an intervention and evaluation tool for rehabilitation [1315]. One example of this technology is the, so called, Rehabilitation Gaming System (RGS) [16], which has been shown to be effective in the rehabilitation of the upper extremities in the acute and the chronic phases of stroke [13]. However, so far little work exists on the quantitative assessment of the clinical impact of VR based approaches and their effects on neural reorganization that can directly inform the design of these systems and their application in the domiciliary context. The main objective of this paper is to further explore the potential and limitations of VR technologies in domiciliary settings. Specifically, we examine the efficacy of a VR-based therapy when used at home for (1) assessing functional improvement, (2) facilitating functional recovery of the upper-limbs, and (3) inducing cortical reorganization. This is the first study testing the effects of VR-based therapy on cortical reorganization and corticospinal integrity using NBS.

Methods

Design

We conducted a parallel-group, controlled trial in order to compare the effectiveness of domiciliary VR-based therapy versus domiciliary occupational therapy (OT) in inducing functional recovery and cortical reorganization in chronic stroke patients.

Participants

Participants were first approached by an occupational therapist from the rehabilitation units of Hospital Esperanza and Hospital Vall d’Hebron from Barcelona to determine their interest in participating in a research project. Recruited participants met the following inclusion criteria: (1) mild-to-moderate upper-limbs hemiparesis (Proximal MRC>2) secondary to a first-ever stroke (>12 months post-stroke), (2) age between 45 and 85 years old, (3) absence of any major cognitive impairment (Mini-Mental State Evaluation, MMSE>22), and (4) previous experience with RGS in the clinic. The ethics committee of clinical research of the Parc de Salut Mar and Vall d’Hebron Research Institute approved the experimental guidelines. Thirty-nine participants at the chronic stage post-stroke were recruited for the study by two occupational therapists, between October 2011 and January 2012, and were assigned to a RGS (n=20) or a control group (n=19) using stratified permuted block randomization methods for balancing the participants’ demographics and clinical scores at baseline (Table 1). One participant in the RGS group refused to participate. Prior to the experiment, participants signed informed consent forms. This trial was not registered at or before the onset of participants’ enrollment because it is a pilot study that evaluates the feasibility of a prototype device. However, this study was registered retrospectively in ClinicalTrials.gov and has the identifier NCT02699398.

Instrumentation

Description of the Rehabilitation Gaming System

The RGS integrates a paradigm of goal-directed action execution and motor imagery [17], allowing the user to control a virtual body (avatar) through an image capture device (Figure 1). For this study, we developed training and evaluation scenarios within the RGS framework. In the Spheroids training scenario (Figure 1), the user has to perform bilateral reaching movements to intercept and grasp a maximum number of spheres moving towards him [16]. RGS captures only joint flexion and extension and filters out the participant’s trunk movements, therefore preventing the execution of compensatory body movements [18]. This task was defined by three difficulty parameters, each of them associated with a specific performance descriptor: (1) different trajectories of the spheres require different ranges of joint motion for elbow and shoulder, (2) the size of the spheres require different hand and grasp precision and perceptual abilities, and (3) the velocity of the spheres require different movement speeds and timing. All these parameters, also including the range of finger flexion and extension required to grasp and release spheroids, were dynamically modulated by the RGS Adaptive Difficulty Controller [19] to maintain the performance ratio (ie, successful trials over the total trials) above 0.6 and below 0.8, optimizing effort and reinforcement during training [20]. […]

Figure 1. Experimental setup and protocol: (A) Movements of the user’s upper limbs are captured and mapped onto an avatar displayed on a screen in first person perspective so that the user sees the movements of the virtual upper extremities. A pair of data gloves equipped with bend sensors captures finger flexion. (B) The Spheroids is divided into three subtasks: hit, grasp, and place. A white separator line divides the workspace in a paretic and non-paretic zone only allowing for ipsilateral movements.(C) The experimental protocol. Evaluation periods (Eval.) indicate clinical evaluations using standard clinical scales and Navigated Brain Stimulation procedures (NBS). These evaluations took place before the first session (W0), after the last session of the treatment (day 15, W3), and at follow-up (week 12, W12).

Continue —>  JSG-Domiciliary VR-Based Therapy for Functional Recovery and Cortical Reorganization: Randomized Controlled Trial in Participants at the Chronic Stage Post Stroke | Ballester | JMIR Serious Games

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[ARTICLE] Rehabilitation plus OnabotulinumtoxinA Improves Motor Function over OnabotulinumtoxinA Alone in Post-Stroke Upper Limb Spasticity: A Single-Blind, Randomized Trial – Full Text HTML

Abstract

Background: OnabotulinumtoxinA (BoNT-A) can temporarily decrease spasticity following stroke, but whether there is an associated improvement in upper limb function is less clear. This study measured the benefit of adding weekly rehabilitation to a background of BoNT-A treatments for chronic upper limb spasticity following stroke. Methods: This was a multi-center clinical trial. Thirty-one patients with post-stroke upper limb spasticity were treated with BoNT-A. They were then randomly assigned to 24 weeks of weekly upper limb rehabilitation or no rehabilitation. They were injected up to two times, and followed for 24 weeks. The primary outcome was change in the Fugl–Meyer upper extremity score, which measures motor function, sensation, range of motion, coordination, and speed. Results: The ‘rehab’ group significantly improved on the Fugl–Meyer upper extremity score (Visit 1 = 60, Visit 5 = 67) while the ‘no rehab’ group did not improve (Visit 1 = 59, Visit 5 = 59; p = 0.006). This improvement was largely driven by the upper extremity “movement” subscale, which showed that the ‘rehab’ group was improving (Visit 1 = 33, Visit 5 = 37) while the ‘no rehab’ group remained virtually unchanged (Visit 1 = 34, Visit 5 = 33; p = 0.034). Conclusions: Following injection of BoNT-A, adding a program of rehabilitation improved motor recovery compared to an injected group with no rehabilitation.

1. Introduction

While several blinded and open-label studies have demonstrated the ability of botulinum toxin to temporarily decrease spasticity following stroke, as measured by standard assessments such as the Modified Ashworth Scale [1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8], the ability of botulinum toxin to improve upper limb function following stroke is less clear, with some studies [1,3,4,5,6,7,8], though not all [2,7], reporting functional improvement. Two recent meta-analyses of randomized controlled trials demonstrated that botulinum toxin treatment resulted in a moderate improvement in upper limb function [9,10]. Despite large clinical trials [2,3,11] and FDA approval, the exact timing, use of adjunct rehabilitation, and continuation of lifelong botulinum toxin treatment remains unclear [12,13].
A recent Cochrane Review included three randomized clinical trials for post-stroke spasticity involving 91 participants [14]. It aimed to determine the efficacy of multidisciplinary rehabilitation programs following treatment with botulinum toxin, and found some evidence supporting modified constraint-induced movement therapy and dynamic elbow splinting. There have been varied study designs exploring rehabilitation in persons after the injection of botulinum toxin or a placebo [13,15], rehabilitation in persons after the injection of botulinum toxin or no injection [16], or rehabilitation after the injection of botulinum toxin with no control condition [17]. As the use of botulinum toxin expands and is beneficial in reducing spasticity and costs [18], the benefit of adding upper limb rehabilitation continues to be questioned. We designed this multi-center, randomized, single-blind clinical trial to assess improvement in patient sensory and motor outcome following the injection of onabotulinumtoxinA (BoNT-A), comparing the effects of rehabilitation versus no rehabilitation, using the upper extremity portion of the Fugl–Meyer Assessment of Sensorimotor Recovery After Stroke [19] as the primary outcome measure. While patients could not be blinded to their randomization to receive additional rehabilitation versus no rehabilitation, the assessments of all of the outcome measures were performed by evaluators blinded to rehabilitation assignment in this single-blind design.

2. Results

Thirty-one patients with post-stroke upper limb spasticity were enrolled, with 29 completing the study (Figure 1). The strokes occurred an average of 6 years prior to study entry, with a range of 6 months to 16½ years. The upper extremity postures treated included flexed elbow, pronated forearm, flexed wrist, flexed fingers, and clenched fist, and were evenly distributed between the treatment groups (the initial dose of BoNT-A administered was left up to the clinician’s judgment based on the amount of spasticity present, and did not differ between groups). One participant (‘no rehab’, injected at Visits 1 and 3A) left the study after Visit 3A due to a deterioration in general health and an inability to travel to study visits. A second participant (‘no rehab’, injected at Visits 1 and 3A) left the study after Visit 4 due to a fall with a broken affected wrist. All of the participants were injected at Visit 1, 19 were injected at Visit 3 (8 ‘rehab’; 11 ‘no rehab’), and 7 were injected at Visit 3A (3 ‘rehab’; 4 ‘no rehab’). Those participants who did not receive injections at Visits 3 or 3A had a level of spasticity that either did not meet the injection criteria due to an Ashworth score of <2 in the wrist (and/or fingers) or one that was felt to be too low to warrant injection. Table 1 provides a description of each group with regard to age, sex, race, whether the stroke occurred in the dominant hemisphere, and clinical measures. At baseline, the treatment groups did not differ on any demographic or clinical variables. […]

Continue—>  Toxins | Free Full-Text | Rehabilitation plus OnabotulinumtoxinA Improves Motor Function over OnabotulinumtoxinA Alone in Post-Stroke Upper Limb Spasticity: A Single-Blind, Randomized Trial | HTML

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[APTA Blog] Confessions of a Tech-Challenged PT: Asking Searching Questions – And Getting Useful Answers

By Stephanie Miller, PT

I’ll admit it: I’m excited about all that I can do with PTNow. This is somewhat unusual for me, because I’ve always felt a little daunted by technology (see my first post for more on that).

But this thing is awesome.

And yet, the fact that PTNow is so awesome—that it contains so much information—can feel a little … overwhelming. I mean, where do you start? How do you start?

Here’s how I got my feet wet, and a few tips based on what I’ve learned along the way.

To begin with, I decided early on that I’d focus on small chunks, and get comfortable with bits and pieces at a time. I mean, anything new I learn today is more than I knew yesterday, right? Since I’d like to do a better job at searching articles, I thought ArticleSearch would be a good place to start. Seemed easy enough.

As heart failure is a common diagnosis in my practice area of home health, I decided to search on that topic. I began with the “basic search” option. The search window is what you’d expect: a box in which you can type in whatever search terms you’re looking for.

But then came the challenging part … all of the databases. ArticleSearch lets you choose which databases you want to use in your search, and although I vaguely recognized a few from grad school, I hated to admit that a lot of them were foreign to me. But where there’s a will, there’s a way! I was determined to understand the value of each and identify why I would select one over the other. Fortunately, the PTNow tutorial video helps to explain the differences.

The abstracts to the best articles are found using the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), ProQuest Health and Medical Complete, ProQuest Nursing and Allied Health Source, and SPORTDiscus. There are differences between them. Here’s a quick comparison, based on what I learned from the PTNow tutorial.

CINAHL

  • Topics: nursing, allied health, general health
  • Over 1,300 journals
  • Full-text
  • Evidence-based care sheets and quick lessons

ProQuest Nursing and Allied Health Source

  • Topics: nursing, allied health, alternative and complementary medicine
  • Journals, clinical training videos, evidence-based resources
  • Over 1,000 full-text articles
  • Over 15,000 full-text dissertations

ProQuest Health and Medical Complete

  • Topics: clinical and biomedical, consumer health, health administration
  • Over 1,500 publications; over 1,000 of them full-text

SPORTDiscus

  • Topics: sports and sports medicine, fitness, health, sport studies
  • Full-text for 550 journals

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews

  • Full-text articles, all systematic reviews
  • Protocols and evidence-based data
  • Updated regularly
  • Investigations of the effects of interventions for prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation

If you’re looking for a specific kind of research resource, here’s what the tutorial suggests:

Full-text articles
CINAHL Complete, Proquest Nursing and Allied Health Source, Proquest Health and Medical Complete, SPORTDiscus (be sure to select the “full-text only” option on the search page)

Systematic reviews
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews

Physical therapy-specific research
CINAHL Complete, Proquest Nursing and Allied Health Source, Proquest Health and Medical Complete

Sport-related information
SPORTDiscus

As for my own search …

After becoming more comfortable with the benefits of each database, I decided that the Cochrane database was the place I wanted to begin my investigation into the effects of exercise on patients with congestive heart failure. I clicked on the link, typed in “effects of exercise on patients with congestive heart failure” in the search bar, and chose the Cochrane database. In a few seconds I found articles on the beneficial effects of combined exercise training on early recovery, the effects of specific inspiratory muscle training on the sensation of dyspnea and exercise tolerance, the role resistance exercise training can play in improving heart function and physical fitness in stable patients with heart failure, and the effects of short-term exercise training and activity restriction on functional capacity in patients with severe chronic congestive heart failure, to name just a few. Wow.

Through this whole experience, I not only learned some of the details of how ArticleSearch works, I also got a better sense of how to get the most out of my searches. I suggest a few general tips:

  1. Take time to learn. Invest the time in learning each database and the benefits of using one over the other.
  2. More isn’t always better. Avoid searching every database. You can end up with so many potentially irrelevant options to review that it’s easy to get overwhelmed as you attempt to weed out the information you want. Choose only the search engines that can best target your specific topic, using the above information to guide your selection.
  3. Get help early on. If you start feeling confused, your time will be better spent if you take a break from your search and learn more about the resources you’re working with—trying and trying again when you don’t really understand the system can be frustrating and may result in you missing out on some valuable information. If you start to feel a little unsure of yourself, take a few minutes to check out the PTNow Video Tutorial and FAQ page. Have a more specific question? You can even access an actual PTNow librarian at ArticleSearch@apta.org.

If, like me, you sometimes wrestle with technology, you’ll understand this mixed bag I feel when I’m faced with something outside my technological comfort zone: I know technology can make my professional life easier, but I worry that the technology itself won’t be easy. I was happily mistaken with ArticleSearch. It was so easy!

How easy? Let me put it this way—I have a lot of reading to do.

Stephanie Miller is a staff development specialist with Celtic Healthcare.

Source: Confessions of a Tech-Challenged PT: Asking Searching Questions – And Getting Useful Answers

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[ARTICLE] Using Xbox kinect motion capture technology to improve clinical rehabilitation outcomes for balance and cardiovascular health in an individual with chronic TBI – Full Text

Abstract

Background

Motion capture virtual reality-based rehabilitation has become more common. However, therapists face challenges to the implementation of virtual reality (VR) in clinical settings. Use of motion capture technology such as the Xbox Kinect may provide a useful rehabilitation tool for the treatment of postural instability and cardiovascular deconditioning in individuals with chronic severe traumatic brain injury (TBI). The primary purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of a Kinect-based VR intervention using commercially available motion capture games on balance outcomes for an individual with chronic TBI. The secondary purpose was to assess the feasibility of this intervention for eliciting cardiovascular adaptations.

Methods

A single system experimental design (n = 1) was utilized, which included baseline, intervention, and retention phases. Repeated measures were used to evaluate the effects of an 8-week supervised exercise intervention using two Xbox One Kinect games. Balance was characterized using the dynamic gait index (DGI), functional reach test (FRT), and Limits of Stability (LOS) test on the NeuroCom Balance Master. The LOS assesses end-point excursion (EPE), maximal excursion (MXE), and directional control (DCL) during weight-shifting tasks. Cardiovascular and activity measures were characterized by heart rate at the end of exercise (HRe), total gameplay time (TAT), and time spent in a therapeutic heart rate (TTR) during the Kinect intervention. Chi-square and ANOVA testing were used to analyze the data.

Results

Dynamic balance, characterized by the DGI, increased during the intervention phase χ 2 (1, N = 12) = 12, p = .001. Static balance, characterized by the FRT showed no significant changes. The EPE increased during the intervention phase in the backward direction χ 2 (1, N = 12) = 5.6, p = .02, and notable improvements of DCL were demonstrated in all directions. HRe (F (2,174) = 29.65, p = < .001) and time in a TTR (F (2, 12) = 4.19, p = .04) decreased over the course of the intervention phase.

Conclusions

Use of a supervised Kinect-based program that incorporated commercial games improved dynamic balance for an individual post severe TBI. Additionally, moderate cardiovascular activity was achieved through motion capture gaming. Further studies appear warranted to determine the potential therapeutic utility of commercial VR games in this patient population.

Trial registration

Clinicaltrial.gov ID – NCT02889289

Background

The last two decades demonstrated an exponential trend in the implementation of virtual reality (VR) in clinical settings [1]. Researchers and clinicians alike are enticed by the potential of this technology to enhance neuroplasticity secondary to rehabilitation interventions. Currently, Nintendo Wii, Sony PlayStation, and Microsoft Xbox offer commercially developed semi-immersive VR platforms which are used for rehabilitation [2]. Several studies report positive effects of these commercial technologies for improving balance, coordination and strength [345]. In 2010, Microsoft introduced a novel infrared camera that works on the Xbox platform called Kinect. The Kinect camera replaces hand held remote controls through the use of whole body motion capture technology.

Whole body motion capture VR allows a unique opportunity for individuals to experience a heightened sense of realism during task-specific therapeutic activities. However, clinicians need to be able to match a game’s components to an individual’s functional deficits. Seamon et al. [6] provided a clinical demonstration of how the Kinect platform can be used with Gentiles taxonomy for progressively challenging postural stability and influencing motor learning in a patient with progressive supranuclear palsy. Similarly, Levac et al. [7] developed a clinical framework titled, “Kinecting with Clinicians” (KWiC) to broadly address implementation barriers. The KWiC resource describes mini-games from Kinect Adventures on the Xbox 360 in order to provide a comprehensive document for clinicians to reference. Clinicians can use KWiC to base game selection and play on their client’s goals and the therapist’s plan of care for that individual.

In parallel with knowledge translation research, several studies found postural control improvements in multiple diagnostic groups including individuals with chronic stroke [8910], Friedrich’s Ataxia [11], multiple sclerosis [12], Parkinson’s disease [13], and mild to moderate traumatic brain injury (TBI) [14] when using Kinect based rehabilitation. Additional research shows that exercising with the Kinect system can reach an appropriate intensity for cardiovascular adaptation. For example, Neves et al. [15] and Salonini et al. [16] reported increases in exercise heart rate and blood pressure in healthy individuals and children with cystic fibrosis while playing Kinect games. Similarly, Kafri et al. [17] reported the ability of individuals post-stroke to reach levels of light to moderate intensity using Kinect games.

Individuals with TBI are likely to have a peak aerobic capacity 65–74% to that of healthy control subjects [18]. There is limited research on cardiovascular training after severe TBI [18]. However, Bateman et al. [19] demonstrated that individuals with severe TBI can improve cardiovascular fitness during a 12-week program participants exercised at an intensity equal to 60–80% of their maximum heart rate 3 days per week. Commercial Xbox Kinect games, such as Just Dance 3, have been shown to improve cardiovascular outcomes for individuals with chronic stroke [20]. However, there is a lack of research investigating the efficacy of motion capture VR on cardiovascular health for individuals with chronic severe TBI. Walker et al. [21] makes the recommendation for rehabilitation programs to go beyond independence in basic mobility and to develop treatment strategies to address high-level physical activities. The high rates of sedentary behavior in individuals across all severities of TBI could be attributed the lack of addressing these limitations in activity.

Postural instability is the second most frequent, self-reported limitation, 5 years post injury for individuals with severe TBI [22]. It is unknown whether use of motion capture VR in individuals with severe, chronic TBI can address neuromotor impairments related to high-level activities such as maintaining postural control during walking. Similarly, there is a need to determine if training with VR motion capture can attain necessary intensity levels for inducing cardiovascular adaptation. Due to this knowledge gap and heterogencity of individuals post TBI, feasibility of investigatory interventions should be explored prior to examining effectiveness with randomized control trials. Single system experimental design (SSED) provides a higher level of rigor compared to case studies based on the ability to compare outcomes across phase conditions with the participant acting as their own control. The value of SSED within rehabilitation has been noted by other investigators [2324] making it an attractive design for practitioners aiming to gain insight into novel clinical interventions prior to large scale clinical trials. The purpose of this proof of concept and feasibility study was to evaluate the effectiveness of commercially available Xbox One Kinect games as a treatment modality for the rehabilitation of balance and cardiovascular fitness for a veteran with chronic severe TBI. Additionally, we provide herein a description of the Kinect games to assist providers with clinical implementation. […]

Continue —>  Using Xbox kinect motion capture technology to improve clinical rehabilitation outcomes for balance and cardiovascular health in an individual with chronic TBI | Archives of Physiotherapy | Full Text

 

Fig. 1 Dynamic gait index (DGI) scores across phases with celeration line analyses. Two-standard deviation (2 SD) celeration line was used for chi-square analysis between baseline and intervention phases as no trend present in baseline phase. The celeration line was carried through the retention phase for Chi-square analysis due to presence of upward trend in intervention phase

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[ARTICLE] A neurocognitive approach for recovering upper extremity movement following subacute stroke: a randomized controlled pilot study – Full Text PDF

Abstract.

[Purpose] This study aims to describe a protocol based on neurocognitive therapeutic exercises and determine its feasibility and usefulness for upper extremity functionality when compared with a conventional protocol.

[Subjects and Methods] Eight subacute stroke patients were randomly assigned to a conventional (control group) or neurocognitive (experimental group) treatment protocol. Both lasted 30 minutes, 3 times a week for 10 weeks and assessments were blinded. Outcome measures included: Motor Evaluation Scale for Upper Extremity in Stroke Patients, Motricity Index, Revised Nottingham Sensory Assessment and Kinesthetic and Visual Imagery Questionnaire. Descriptive measures and nonparametric statistical tests were used for analysis.

[Results] The results indicate a more favorable clinical progression in the neurocognitive group regarding upper extremity functional capacity with achievement of the minimal detectable change. The functionality results are related with improvements on muscle strength and sensory discrimination (tactile and kinesthetic).

[Conclusion] Despite not showing significant group differences between pre and post-treatment, the neurocognitive approach could be a safe and useful strategy for recovering upper extremity movement following stroke, especially regarding affected hands, with better and longer lasting results. Although this work shows this protocol’s feasibility with the panel of scales proposed, larger studies are required to demonstrate its effectiveness.

Full Text PDF

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