Effect of Force-Feedback Treatments in Patients with Chronic Motor Deficits After a Stroke

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Abstract

Objective

To assess the effects a motor reeducation approach based on static dynamometers used to provide feedback on the force produced.

Design

The study design was a single-blind, randomized, controlled trial. Chronic stroke subjects participated in a 6-wk, thrice-weekly, force-feedback program of either the upper paretic limb (n = 13) or the lower paretic limb (n = 12). Baseline and postintervention assessments of the performance of both the upper and the lower limb were measured for each subject, the untreated paretic limb of each group serving as a control for the other group.

Results

With the exception of the handgrip force, strength measurements of the treated limb increased after completion of the treatment. The outcome measurements of the upper limb of the subjects included in the upper paretic limb were not significantly different after treatment from those measured in the lower paretic limb. In contrast, gait velocity and the distance walked in 2 min increased after treatment in the lower paretic limb as compared with the upper paretic limb, whereas the scores in the Fugl-Meyer test for the lower limb and the timed up-and-go test did not increase for either group after treatment.

Conclusion

The results indicate that treatment of the lower limb based on force feedback produces an improvement of gait velocity.

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