Quality-of-life change associated with robotic-assisted therapy to improve hand motor function in patients with subacute stroke: A randomized clinical trial

Academic Article


  • Background. At 6 months poststroke, most patients cannot incorporate their affected hand into daily activities, which in turn is likely to reduce their perceived quality of life. Objective. This preliminary study explored change in patient-reported, healthrelated quality of life associated with robotic-assisted therapy combined with reduced therapist-supervised training. Design and Setting. A single-blind, multi-site, randomized clinical trial was conducted. Participants. Seventeen individuals who were 3 to 9 months poststroke participated. Intervention. Sixty hours of therapist-supervised repetitive task practice (RTP) was compared with 30 hours of RTP combined with 30 hours of robotic-assisted therapy. Measurements. Participants completed the Stroke Impact Scale (SIS) at baseline, immediately postintervention, and 2 months postintervention. Change in SIS score domains was assessed in a mixed model analysis. Results. The combined therapy group had a greater increase in rating of mood from preintervention to postintervention, and the RTP-only group had a greater increase in rating of social participation from preintervention to follow-up. Both groups had statistically significant improvement in activities of daüy living and instrumental activities of daily living scores from preintervention to postintervention. Both groups reported significant improvement in hand function postintervention and at follow-up, and the magnitude of these changes suggested clinical significance. The combined therapy group had significant improvements in stroke recovery rating postintervention and at follow-up, which appeared clinically significant; this also was true for stroke recovery rating from preintervention to follow-up in die RTP-only group. Limitations. Outcomes of 30 hours of RTP in the absence of robotic-assisted therapy remain unknown. Conclusion. Robotic-assisted therapy may be an effective alternative or adjunct to the delivery of intensive task practice interventions to enhance hand function recovery in patients with stroke. © 2010 American Physical Therapy Association.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • Physical Therapy  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Kutner NG; Zhang R; Butler AJ; Wolf SL; Alberts JL
  • Start Page

  • 493
  • End Page

  • 504
  • Volume

  • 90
  • Issue

  • 4