Content » Vol 41, Issue 12

Original report

Exercises for paretic upper limb after stroke: A combined virtual-reality and telemedicine approach

Lamberto Piron, Andrea Turolla, Michela Agostini, Carla Zucconi, Feliciana Cortese, Mauro Zampolini, Mara Zannini, Mauro Dam, Laura Ventura, Michela Battauz, Paolo Tonin


DOI: 10.2340/16501977-0459

Abstract

Objective: Telerehabilitation enables a remotely controlled programme to be used to treat motor deficits in post-stroke patients. The effects of this telerehabilitation approach were compared with traditional motor rehabilitation methods.
Design: Randomized single-blind controlled trial.
Patients: A total of 36 patients with mild arm motor impairments due to ischaemic stroke in the region of the middle cerebral artery.
Methods: The experimental treatment was a virtual reality-based system delivered via the Internet, which provided motor tasks to the patients from a remote rehabilitation facility. The control group underwent traditional physical therapy for the upper limb. Both treatments were of 4 weeks duration. All patients were assessed one month prior to therapy, at the commencement and termination of therapies and one month post-therapy, with the Fugl-Meyer Upper Extremity, the ABILHAND and the Ashworth scales.
Results: Both rehabilitative therapies significantly improved all outcome scores after treatment, but only the Fugl-Meyer Upper Extremity scale showed differences in the comparison between groups.
Conclusion: Both strategies were effective, but the experimental approach induced better outcomes in motor performance. These results may favour early discharge from hospital sustained by a telerehabilitation programme, with potential beneficial effects on the use of available resources.

Lay Abstract

Comments

Do you want to comment on this paper? The comments will show up here and if appropriate the comments will also separately be forwarded to the authors. You need to login/create an account to comment on articles. Click here to login/create an account.