Task-Oriented Intervention in Chronic Stroke: Changes in Clinical and Laboratory Measures of Balance and Mobility

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Leroux A, Pinet H, Nadeau S: Task-oriented intervention in chronic stroke: Changes in clinical and laboratory measures of balance and mobility. Am J Phys Med Rehabil 2006;85:820–830.Objective:The objective of this study was to evaluate whether, after a task-oriented exercise program, the changes in clinical measures of balance and mobility were paralleled by changes in biomechanical parameters in subjects with chronic stroke.Design:Ten stroke subjects took part in an 8-wk exercise program aimed at improving balance and mobility through various functional tasks. Subjects were evaluated before and after the exercise intervention. Clinical measures included the Berg Balance Scale and the Timed-Up-and-Go and laboratory measures included ground reaction forces and center of pressure displacement during four functional tasks.Results:Stroke subjects showed significant improvements (P < 0.05) in the clinical measures after completing the exercise program. Significant improvements (P < 0.05) were also found in postural steadiness during tandem stance and stool touch and in force production through the paretic lower limb during sit-to-stand. This last result was strongly correlated (r = −0.93) with the improvements on the Timed-Up-and-Go after exercise intervention. In contrast, the increase in postural steadiness was poorly correlated with the improvements on the Berg Balance Scale.Conclusions:A task-oriented exercise program might improve both clinical and laboratory measures of balance and mobility in stroke subjects. However, several correlations between the changes in clinical and laboratory measures after exercise intervention were generally weak, indicating that these outcome measures assessed different components of improvements.

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