Content » Vol 46, Issue 2

Original report

Using the robotic device REAplan as a valid, reliable, and sensitive tool to quantify upper limb impairments in stroke patients

Maxime Gilliaux, Thierry M. Lejeune, Christine Detrembleur, Julien Sapin, Bruno Dehez, Clara Selves, Gaëtan Stoquart
Institute of Neuroscience, Université catholique de Louvain, BE-1200 Brussels, Belgium
DOI: 10.2340/16501977-1245


Objective: To validate a protocol assessing upper limb kinematics using a planar robot among stroke patients.
Design: Prospective cohort study.
Subjects: Age-matched healthy subjects (n = 25) and stroke patients (n = 25).
Methods: Various kinematic indices (n = 44) were obtained from 4 tasks performed by subjects with REAplan, a planar end-effector robotic device. The metrological properties of this protocol were studied.
Results: In stroke patients, 43 kinematic indices showed moderate to excellent reliability (intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) range 0. 40–0. 95; and minimal detectable changes range 9. 9–121. 1%). In healthy subjects, 25 kinematic indices showed moderate to excellent reliability (ICC range 0. 40–0. 91) and 3 indices showed a laterality effect (p < 0. 05). Many of these indices (27 of 44) were altered in stroke patients in comparison with healthy subjects (p < 0. 05). The Box and Block test (manual dexterity) and Upper Limb Sub-score of the Fugl-Meyer Assessment (motor control) showed moderate to good correlations with, respectively, 13 and 4 indices (r > 0. 40). Finally, a principal component analysis allowed the elaboration of a short version of the protocol, reducing the number of indices to 5 (i. e. Amplitude, CVstraightness, Speed Metric, CVjerk metric and CVspeed metric).
Conclusion: This study provides a standardized, valid, reliable and sensitive protocol to quantify upper limb impairments in stroke patients, using a planar robot.

Lay Abstract


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