|S. Masiero, M. Armani, G. Ferlini, A. Chiasera, G. Rosati, A. Rossi, and C. Ferraro|
|A novel robot-assisted upper-limb rehabilitation program in acute management of post-stroke patients: a randomized controlled trial|
|Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair, 26(4):395, 2012|
Abstract: Background: Aim of the study is to evaluate the effectiveness of a rehabilitation protocol consisting in a mix of robotic (by NeReBot) and non-robotic techniques.
Methods: Twenty-one subjects within 3 weeks after stroke were randomized in the experimental group (EG; n=11) and control group (CG; n=10). Both received 120 minutes/day treatment for five days a week for five weeks. Daily treatment in EG included traditional rehabilitation therapy (~65%) and robotic therapy (~35%, 20 minutes, twice a day) consisting of peripheral manipulation of the shoulder and elbow of the impaired limb, correlated with visual stimuli. The CG received only traditional rehabilitation treatment. The motor and functional outcome measured at the end of treatment, 3 and 7 months follow-up included: (1) the Medical Research Council Scale to assess the upper limb muscles; 2) the shoulder/elbow, coordination and wrist/hand subsections of the Fugl-Meyer Assessment; 3) the Motor-Functional Independent Measure; 4) the Box and Block test).
Results: The 2 groups were matched for demographic and clinical characteristics at baseline. Both groups showed motor and functional recovery of the upper limb at the end of treatment and after 3 and 7 months’ follow-up. No significant differences were found between CG and EG.
Conclusion: A rehabilitation programme including NeReBot training in substitution of part of traditional therapy, seems to lead to an improvement in the impaired upper limb, similarly to traditional rehabilitation treatment, and persists at follow-up.