Objective: To contrast changes in clinical and kinematic measures of upper extremity movement in response to virtually simulated and traditionally presented rehabilitation interventions in persons with upper extremity hemiparesis due to chronic stroke. Methods: This was a non-randomized controlled trial set in an ambulatory research facility. The participants were a volunteer sample of twenty one community-dwelling adults (mean age: 51±12 years) with residual hemiparesis due to stroke more than 6 months before enrollment (mean:74±48 months), recruited at support groups. Partial range, against gravity shoulder movement and at least 10u of active finger extension were required for inclusion. All subjects completed the study without adverse events. Interventions - A 2 weeks, 24-hour program of robotic/virtually simulated, arm and finger rehabilitation activities was compared to the same dose of traditionally presented arm and finger activities. Results: Subjects in both groups demonstrated statistically significant improvements in the ability to interact with real-world objects as measured by the Wolf Motor Function Test (P=0.01). The robotic/virtually simulated activity (VR) group but not the traditional, repetitive task practice (RTP) group demonstrated significant improvements in peak reaching velocity (P=0.03) and finger extension excursion (P=0.03). Both groups also demonstrated similar improvements in kinematic measures of reaching and grasping performance such as increased shoulder and elbow excursion along with decreased trunk excursion. Conclusions: Kinematic measurements identified differing adaptations to training that clinical measurements did not. These adaptations were targeted in the design of four of the six simulations performed by the simulated activity group. Finer grained measures may be necessary to accurately depict the relative benefits of dose matched motor interventions.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Community and Home Care
- Clinical Neurology
- Kinematic measurements
- Virtual reality