Comparison of conventional therapy, intensive therapy and modified constraint-induced movement therapy to improve upper extremity function after stroke
Qiang Wang, Jing-Li Zhao, Qi-xiu Zhu, Jiang Li, Ping-Ping Meng
Objective: To compare the effects of 4 weeks of intervention using conventional rehabilitation, intensive conventional rehabilitation and modified constraint-induced movement therapy on the hemiplegic upper extremity in stroke patients.
Methods: Thirty stroke patients (mean age: 63.3, standard deviation 9.63 years; mean time since stroke: 11.33, standard deviation 8.29 weeks) were randomly divided into 3 groups: conventional rehabilitation, intensive conventional rehabilitation, and modified constraint-induced movement therapy (10 individuals in each). Motor function was assessed using the Wolf Motor Function Test before treatment, and 2 weeks and 4 weeks after treatment.
Results: The constraint-induced movement therapy and intensive conventional rehabilitation groups improved their function ability scores in the Wolf Motor Function Test significantly more than the conventional rehabilitation group after 2 weeks of treatment (p < 0.05), but all groups reached comparable levels at the end of 4 weeks of intervention. However, only the constraint-induced movement therapy intervention proved to have robust and systematic effects on the function ability scores, as revealed by the large, positive and significant correlation between the initial scores and the scores 2 and 4 weeks after the intervention. The median performance time of the Wolf Motor Function Test decreased significantly in all groups after 4 weeks of treatment (p < 0.05), but only the modified constraint-induced movement therapy group showed significant improvements both 2 and 4 weeks after the initiation of treatment.
Conclusion: Compared with classical intervention, modified constraint-induced movement therapy showed an apparent advantage over both conventional intervention and intensive conventional rehabilitation for patients after stroke.
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