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Three ways to improve arm function in the chronic phase after stroke by robotic priming combined with mirror therapy, arm training, and movement-oriented therapy
Li Y-C, Lin K-C, Chen C-L, Yao G, Y-J C, Lee Y-Y, Liu C-T, Chen W-S
Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 2023 Aug;104(8):1195-1202
clinical trial
6/10 [Eligibility criteria: Yes; 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: Yes; Point estimates and variability: Yes. Note: Eligibility criteria item does not contribute to total score] *This score has been confirmed*

OBJECTIVE: To examine the effects of bilateral robotic priming combined with mirror therapy (R-mirr) versus bilateral robotic priming combined with bilateral arm training (R-bilat), relative to the control approach of bilateral robotic priming combined with movement-oriented training (R-mov) in patients with stroke. DESIGN: A single-blind, preliminary, randomized controlled trial. SETTING: Four outpatient rehabilitation settings. PARTICIPANTS: Outpatients with stroke and mild to moderate motor impairment (n = 63). INTERVENTIONS: Patients received 6 weeks of clinic-based R-mirr, R-bilat, or R-mov for 90 min/d, 3 d/wk, plus a transfer package at home for 5 d/wk. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Fugl-Meyer Assessment Upper Extremity subscale (FMA-UE), ABILHAND, and Stroke Impact Scale v3.0 scores before, immediately after, and 3 months after treatment as well as lateral pinch strength and accelerometry before and immediately after treatment. RESULTS: The posttest results favored R-mirr over R-bilat and R-mov on the FMA-UE score (p < 0.05). Follow-up analysis revealed that significant improvement in FMA-UE score was retained at the 3 month follow-up in the R-mirr over R-bilat or R-mov (p < 0.05). Significant improvements were not observed in the R-mirr over R-bilat and R-mov on other outcomes. CONCLUSIONS: Between-group differences were only detected for the primary outcome, FMA-UE. R-mirr was more effective at enhancing upper limb motor improvement, and the effect has the potential to be maintained at 3 months of follow-up.

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