The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of robot-mediated therapy on arm dysfunction post stroke. Twenty subjects with varying degrees of motor and sensory deficit attended the physiotherapy department three times a week for robot-mediated therapy or sling suspension, with each phase lasting three weeks. In the robot-mediated therapy phase they practised three functional exercises with haptic and visual feedback from the system. In the sling suspension phase they practised three single-plane exercises. The range of active shoulder flexion, the Fugl-Meyer motor assessment and the Motor Assessment Scale were measured at each visit.The rate of recovery was greater during the robot-mediated therapy phase than in the baseline phase for the majority of subjects. The rate of recovery during the robot-mediated therapy phase was also greater than that during the sling suspension phase for most subjects.
The positive treatment effect for both groups suggests that robot-mediated therapy can have a treatment effect greater than the same duration of non-functional exercises.
Clinical Rehabilitation, 2008, 22(5), 395-405