Bilateral Arm Training with Rhythmic Auditory Cueing in Chronic Stroke: Not Always Efficacious

Richards LG, Senesac CR, Davis SB, Woodbury ML, Nadeau SE

The purpose of this study was to assess intervention effects of a modified version of the traditional Bilateral Arm Training with Rhythmic Auditory Cueing (BATRAC) on 14 patients with chronic stroke. The modified BATRAC consisted of a two-week long, 2.25 hour intervention sessions 4xweekly (a total of 18 hours, similar to earlier BATRAC studies, but provided more massed practice than in previous studies.)

Following the two-week intervention, participants reported increased use of the paretic upper extremity on the motor activity log (MAL).

However there were no improvements in other measures of motor outcomes such as perceived quality of movement (MAL), Fugl Meyer (FM) scores or the Wolf Motor Function tests (WMFT). Similar to earlier studies on BATRAC, the more severely impaired patients in this sample reported greater gains in FM and WMFT upper extremity scores as compared to patients with milder functional limitations at the end of intervention.

It is suggested that modified BATRAC might be an efficacious intervention for post-stroke patients with relatively more severe upper extremity impairments (as indicated from FM, and WMFT scores). Patients with relatively milder impairments tend to report increased use of the paretic arm, though there is little significant improvement in motor function post-intervention.

Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair, Vol.22, No.2, 180-184, (2008)

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