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Does electromyographic biofeedback improve exercise effects in hemiplegic patients? A pilot randomized controlled trial [with consumer summary]
Arpa S, Ozcakir S
Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine 2019 Feb;51(2):109-112
clinical trial
5/10 [Eligibility criteria: No; Random allocation: Yes; Concealed allocation: No; Baseline comparability: Yes; Blind subjects: No; Blind therapists: No; Blind assessors: Yes; Adequate follow-up: Yes; Intention-to-treat analysis: No; Between-group comparisons: No; Point estimates and variability: Yes. Note: Eligibility criteria item does not contribute to total score] *This score has been confirmed*

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this pilot randomized study was to assess the efficacy potential of an electromyographic biofeedback-assisted exercise programme on clinical and functional outcomes of hemiplegic patients in comparison with sham electromyographic biofeedback. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Thirty-four patients with hemiplegia were randomized into 2 groups. Both groups participated in an inpatient rehabilitation programme including exercise interventions and ambulation training 5 days a week for 2 weeks. Lower extremity exercises were performed via electromyographic biofeedback in group 1 (n = 17), while a sham technique was used for patients in group 2 (n = 17). Range of motion, spasticity, muscle strength, functional level and walking speed were assessed before and after treatment. Follow-up was performed at 1 and 3 months after treatment. RESULTS: Significant improvements were found for range of motion, muscle strength, Barthel Index and 10-m walking time in both groups. CONCLUSION: This study suggests that exercise with or without electromyographic biofeedback is effective for improving clinical and functional parameters in hemiplegic patients. Larger studies are needed to determine whether electromyographic biofeedback-assisted exercises provide additional benefits.

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