Effects of Combined Robotic Therapy and Repetitive-Task Practice on Upper-Extremity Function in a Patient With Chronic Stroke.

January/February 2008
The American Journal of Occupational Therapy
Rosenstein, et. al.

Objective: This article describes the effect of a robotic device combined with repetitive-task practice (RTP) on upper-extremity function in a patient with chronic stroke.

Method: The client was a 32-year-old woman, 11 months after stroke, with minimal wrist and finger movement. She received approximately 48 hours of intervention split evenly between a robotic device (Hand Mentor) and RTP during 3 weeks.

Results: Favorable scores in the Wolf Motor Function Test were observed from pre- to post-evaluation. Active range of motion, from pre- to post-intervention, increased by 35° in the shoulder, 65° in the wrist, and 70° in the thumb. Kinetic analysis of a bimanual dexterity task indicated improved specification of grasping forces for both limbs.

Conclusion: Improvements in upper-extremity motor functioning and functional performance in daily tasks followed this client’s engagement in distal initiation of movement during an RTP exercise regimen that was robotically reinforced.

Principal Findings:

  • Following Hand Mentor training, substantial improvements in upper limb function were observed.
  • The Hand Mentor is a viable rehabilitation intervention for severely impaired stroke survivors not qualified for other rehabilitation options.
  • The Hand Mentor improves active range of motion.
  • The Hand Mentor provides an effective means to improve upper limb motor function and performance of activities of daily living.

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