Implementation of a technology-assisted programme to intensify upper limb rehabilitation in neurologically impaired participants: A prospective study

Mary Galea, Fary Khan, Bhasker Amatya, Alaeldin Elmalik, Marlena Klaic, Geoff Abbott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: To evaluate the implementation of a technologyassisted programme to intensify upper limb rehabilitation after stroke and other neurological conditions in an Australian community cohort. Methods: A "Hand Hub" was established in a tertiary hospital. Intervention was delivered via individual or group sessions for a period of up to 6 weeks, in addition to the patients' regular therapy. Patients were assessed before and after the programme using validated measures. Results: A total of 92 participants completed both assessments (mean age 57 years (standard deviation 17 years), 58% male and 88% with stroke). Post-intervention, participants showed significant improvement in arm function and strength (p< 0.001, effect sizes (r)=0.5-0.7), streamlined Wolf Motor Function Test score (p< 0.05, r=0.2-0.4), improved muscle tone on the Modified Ashworth Scale (p < 0.001, r = 0.4), Functional Independence Measure (locomotion, mobility and psychosocial subscales (p < 0.05, r = 0.2-0.3). Quality of life (EQ-5D) and overall health also improved significantly (p< 0.01 for all, r=0.3-0.6). Conclusion: The "Hand Hub" programme is feasible and showed promising results for upper limb function in persons with neurological disorders. The findings need to be further confirmed in a larger study sample, with a longer follow-up.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)522-528
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Rehabilitation Medicine
Volume48
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2016

Keywords

  • Function
  • Participation
  • Quality of life
  • Rehabilitation
  • Upper limb

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