Objective: To investigate the effects of unilateral hybrid therapy (UHT) and bilateral hybrid therapy (BHT) compared with robot-assisted therapy (RT) alone in patients with chronic stroke.
Design: A single-blind, randomized controlled trial.
Setting: Four hospitals.
Participants: Outpatients with chronic stroke and mild to moderate motor impairment (N=44).
Intervention: UHT combined unilateral RT (URT) and modified constraint-induced therapy. BHT combined bilateral RT (BRT) and bilateral arm training. The RT group received URT and BRT. The intervention frequency for the 3 groups was 90 min/d 3 d/wk for 6 weeks.
Main outcome measures: Fugl-Meyer Assessment (FMA, divided into the proximal and distal subscale) and Stroke Impact Scale (SIS) version 3.0 scores before, immediately after, and 3 months after treatment and Wolf Motor Function Test (WMFT) and Nottingham Extended Activities of Daily Living (NEADL) scale scores before and immediately after treatment.
Results: The results favored BHT over UHT on the FMA total score and distal score at the posttest (P=.03 and .04) and follow-up (P=.01 and .047) assessment and BHT over RT on the follow-up FMA distal scores (P=.03). At the posttest assessment, the WMFT and SIS scores of the 3 groups improved significantly without between-group differences, and the RT group showed significantly greater improvement in the mobility domain of NEADL compared with the BHT group (P<.01).
Conclusions: BHT was more effective for improving upper extremity motor function, particularly distal motor function at follow-up, and individuals in the RT group demonstrated improved functional ambulation post intervention.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02451280.
Keywords: Randomized controlled trial; Rehabilitation; Robotics; Stroke; Therapy.
Copyright © 2019 American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.