Content » Vol 44, Issue 3

Original report

Long-term benefits of progressive resistance training in chronic stroke: A 4-year follow-up

Ulla-Britt Flansbjer, Jan Lexell, Christina Brogårdh
DOI: 10.2340/16501977-0936


Objectives: To evaluate the long-term benefits of progressive resistance training in chronic stroke.
Design: A 4-year follow-up of a randomized controlled trial of progressive resistance training.
Subjects: Eighteen women and men (mean age 66 (standard deviation 4) from the original group of 24 post-stroke participants.
Methods: The training group (n = 11) had participated in supervised progressive resistance training of the knee extensors and flexors (80% of maximum) twice weekly for 10 weeks, whereas the control group (n = 7) had continued their usual daily activities. Muscle strength was evaluated isotonically and isokinetically (60º/s; Biodex), muscle tone with the Modified Ashworth Scale, gait performance by the Timed Up and Go test, the Fast Gait Speed test and 6-Minute Walk test, and perceived participation with the Stroke Impact Scale (Participation domain).
Results: Four years after the intervention, the improvements in muscle strength in the training group were maintained, and there was no reduction in strength in the control group. Compared with baseline there were still significant between-group differences for both isotonic and isokinetic strength. No significant between-group differences were found in muscle tone, gait performance or perceived participation.
Conclusion: The results indicate that there is a long-term benefit of progressive resistance training in chronic stroke. This implies that progressive resistance training could be an effective training method to improve and maintain muscle strength in a long-term perspective.

Lay Abstract


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