MusicGlove: motivating and quantifying hand movement rehabilitation by using functional grips to play music

Annu Int Conf IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2011:2011:2359-63. doi: 10.1109/IEMBS.2011.6090659.


People with stroke typically must perform much of their hand exercise at home without professional assistance as soon as two weeks after the stroke. Without feedback and encouragement, individuals often lose motivation to practice using the affected hand, and this disuse contributes to further declines in hand function. We developed the MusicGlove as a way to facilitate and motivate at home practice of hand movement. This low-cost device uses music as an interactive and motivating medium to guide hand exercise and to quantitatively assess hand movement recovery. It requires the user to practice functional movements, including pincer grip, key-pinch grip, and finger-thumb opposition, by using those movements to play different musical notes, played along to songs displayed by an interactive computer game. We report here the design of the glove and the results of a single-session experiment with 10 participants with chronic stroke. We found that the glove is well suited for use by people with an impairment level quantified by a Box and Blocks score of at least around 7; that the glove can be used to obtain a measure of hand dexterity (% of notes hit) that correlates strongly with the Box and Blocks score; and that the incorporation of music into training significantly improved both objective measures of hand motor performance and self-ratings of motivation for training in the single session.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Equipment Design
  • Equipment Failure Analysis
  • Hand / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Movement*
  • Music Therapy / instrumentation*
  • Music Therapy / methods*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Stroke / diagnosis*
  • Stroke Rehabilitation*
  • User-Computer Interface*