Robot-mediated upper limb physiotherapy for patients with spastic hemiparesis: A preliminary study
Gabor Fazekas, Monika Horvath, Tibor Troznai and Andras Toth
Objective: To investigate the clinical usefulness of the REHAROB Therapeutic System, which provides passive robot-mediated physiotherapy for patients with spastic hemiparesis.
Design: Controlled, randomized, preliminary study.
Patients and methods: Thirty patients with hemiparesis as a consequence of upper motor neurone lesion were divided randomly into 2 groups: robotic and control. Subjects from both groups received 30 minutes of Bobath therapy sessions on 20 consecutive work days. Members of the robotic group received an additional 30 minutes of robot-mediated therapy on the same days. The clinical status of each patient was assessed before the first session and at the end of the programme. The difference in the scores was statistically evaluated by t-test for dependent variables in case of parametric data and Friedman’s test in case of non-parametric data.
Results: The majority of the parameters measured improved in both groups, but modified Ashworth score of shoulder adductors and elbow flexors showed a statistically significant change only in the robotic group.
Conclusion: The results suggest that it could be useful to supplement traditional physiotherapy with this form of robot-mediated therapy. Clinical investigation of a higher number of patients is planned in the near future.