The use of robots in stroke rehabilitation: A narrative review

NeuroRehabilitation. 2018;43(1):99-110. doi: 10.3233/NRE-172408.


Background: Stroke is among the leading causes of acquired disability in the United States, affecting nearly 800,000 Americans annually. The identification of more effective treatments for hemiparesis has been recognized as a top research priority. Intelligent, motor-driven devices for rehabilitation, or rehabilitation robotics, represent an exciting frontier with considerable potential to address these concerns.

Purpose: This article presents a state of the science review regarding selected robotic technologies that are representative of current robot-aided rehabilitation strategies, the evidence surrounding their efficacy, barriers to widespread dissemination, and technologies in development.

Methods: Narrative Review.

Conclusions: Based on this synthesis, we suggest that robotic rehabilitation tools are neither the standard of care, nor entirely experimental, but rather a clinically innovative therapy of some utility.

Keywords: Robotics; exoskeleton; stroke rehabilitation; technology.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Robotics / instrumentation
  • Robotics / methods*
  • Stroke Rehabilitation / instrumentation
  • Stroke Rehabilitation / methods*