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Coote, S.; Murphy, B.; Harwin, W.; Stokes, E. (2008)
Languages: English
Types: Article
Objective: To evaluate the effect of robot-mediated therapy on arm dysfunction post stroke. Design: A series of single-case studies using a randomized multiple baseline design with ABC or ACB order. Subjects (n = 20) had a baseline length of 8, 9 or 10 data points. They continued measurement during the B - robot-mediated therapy and C - sling suspension phases. Setting: Physiotherapy department, teaching hospital. Subjects: Twenty subjects with varying degrees of motor and sensory deficit completed the study. Subjects attended three times a week, with each phase lasting three weeks. Interventions: In the robot-mediated therapy phase they practised three functional exercises with haptic and visual feedback from the system. In the sling suspension phase they practised three single-plane exercises. Each treatment phase was three weeks long. Main measures: The range of active shoulder flexion, the Fugl-Meyer motor assessment and the Motor Assessment Scale were measured at each visit. Results: Each subject had a varied response to the measurement and intervention phases. The rate of recovery was greater during the robot-mediated therapy phase than in the baseline phase for the majority of subjects. The rate of recovery during the robot-mediated therapy phase was also greater than that during the sling suspension phase for most subjects. Conclusion: The positive treatment effect for both groups suggests that robot-mediated therapy can have a treatment effect greater than the same duration of non-functional exercises. Further studies investigating the optimal duration of treatment in the form of a randomized controlled trial are warranted.

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