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Enriched, Task-Specific Therapy in the Chronic Phase After Stroke: An Exploratory Study.

Journal article
Authors S Vive
JL Af Geijerstam
Hans-Georg Kuhn
Lina Bunketorp Käll
Published in Journal of neurologic physical therapy : JNPT
Volume 44
Issue 2
Pages 145-155
ISSN 1557-0584
Publication year 2020
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology
Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Clinical Neuroscience
Institute of Clinical Sciences, Department of Orthopaedics
Pages 145-155
Language en
Links dx.doi.org/10.1097/NPT.000000000000...
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.f...
Subject categories Neuroscience, Neurology, Physiotherapy

Abstract

There is a need to translate promising basic research about environmental enrichment to clinical stroke settings. The aim of this study was to assess the effectiveness of enriched, task-specific therapy in individuals with chronic stroke.This is an exploratory study with a within-subject, repeated-measures design. The intervention was preceded by a baseline period to determine the stability of the outcome measures. Forty-one participants were enrolled at a mean of 36 months poststroke. The 3-week intervention combined physical therapy with social and cognitive stimulation inherent to environmental enrichment. The primary outcome was motor recovery measured by Modified Motor Assessment Scale (M-MAS). Secondary outcomes included balance, walking, distance walked in 6 minutes, grip strength, dexterity, and multiple dimensions of health. Assessments were made at baseline, immediately before and after the intervention, and at 3 and 6 months.The baseline measures were stable. The 39 participants (95%) who completed the intervention had increases of 2.3 points in the M-MAS UAS and 5 points on the Berg Balance Scale (both P < 0.001; SRM >0.90), an improvement of comfortable and fast gait speed of 0.13 and 0.23 m/s, respectively. (P < 0.001; SRM = 0.88), an increased distance walked over 6 minutes (24.2 m; P < 0.001; SRM = 0.64), and significant improvements in multiple dimensions of health. The improvements were sustained at 6 months.Enriched, task-specific therapy may provide durable benefits across a wide spectrum of motor deficits and impairments after stroke. Although the results must be interpreted cautiously, the findings have implications for enriching strategies in stroke rehabilitation.Video Abstract available for more insights from the authors (see the Video, Supplemental Digital Content 1, available at: http://links.lww.com/JNPT/A304).

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