The arm studio to intensify the upper limb rehabilitation after stroke: Concept, acceptance, utilization and preliminary clinical results
R. Buschfort, J. Brocke, A. Heß, C. Werner, A. Waldner, Stefan Hesse
Objectives: To assess the acceptance, utilization and clinical results of an arm studio designed to intensify treatment of the severely to moderately affected arm after stroke. In line with a distal bilateral approach, the equipment comprised 4 workstations, 1 finger trainer, and 3 machines for bilateral training of selected distal and proximal movements.
Design: Open study.
Subjects: Of 119 treated patients after subacute stroke, 30 completed a questionnaire and 24 were assessed.
Methods: All patients completed 15 sessions, each of 30–45 min duration, on each of 2 workstations. Based on the patients’ impairment level they were divided into 3 groups, as follows: group A, plegic; group B, proximal and distal movements but hand non-functional; and group C, able to grasp and release an object. Motor functions were assessed with the Fugl-Meyer Score (FM, 0–66) for groups A (n = 6) and B (n = 6), and the Action Arm Research Test (ARAT, 0–57) for group C (n = 12).
Results: No side-effects occurred. The patients regarded the training positively. The initial FM was 8. 5 (standard deviation (SD) 3. 3) and final FM 21. 2 (SD 4. 4) for group A, initial FM 25. 3 (SD 6. 9) and final FM 44. 3 (SD 9. 1) for group B, and initial ARAT 33. 3 (SD 11. 2) and final ARAT 43. 5 (SD 10. 7) for group C.
Conclusion: The use of the arm studio to intensify upper limb rehabilitation after stroke is promising, and a controlled study is warranted.
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