Systematic review of the effect of robot-aided therapy on recovery of the hemiparetic arm after stroke

J Rehabil Res Dev. 2006 Mar-Apr;43(2):171-84. doi: 10.1682/jrrd.2005.04.0076.


A limited number of clinical studies have examined the effect of poststroke rehabilitation with robotic devices on hemiparetic arm function. We systematically reviewed the literature to assess the effect of robot-aided therapy on stroke patients' upper-limb motor control and functional abilities. Eight clinical trials were identified and reviewed. For four of these studies, we also pooled short-term mean changes in Fugl-Meyer scores before and after robot-aided therapy. We found that robot-aided therapy of the proximal upper limb improves short- and long-term motor control of the paretic shoulder and elbow in subacute and chronic patients; however, we found no consistent influence on functional abilities. In addition, robot-aided therapy appears to improve motor control more than conventional therapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Exercise Therapy / instrumentation*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscle Contraction / physiology
  • Muscle Strength / physiology
  • Paresis / etiology
  • Paresis / rehabilitation*
  • Prognosis
  • Recovery of Function
  • Robotics*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Stroke / complications
  • Stroke Rehabilitation*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Upper Extremity / physiopathology