Title: Early and repetitive stimulation of the arm can substantially improve the long-term outcome after stroke: A 5-year follow-up study of a randomized trial
Authors: Feys, Hilde
De Weerdt, Willy
Verbeke, Geert
Steck, GC
Capiau, C
Kiekens, C
Dejaeger, Eddy
Van Hoydonck, G
Vermeersch, G
Cras, P #
Issue Date: Apr-2004
Publisher: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
Series Title: Stroke vol:35 issue:4 pages:924-929
Abstract: BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Several studies have investigated the effect of therapeutic interventions for the arm in the acute phase after stroke, with follow-ups at a maximum of 12 months. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of repetitive sensorimotor training of the arm at 5 years after stroke. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: One hundred consecutive stroke patients were randomly allocated either to an experimental group that received daily additional sensorimotor stimulation of the arm or to a control group. The intervention period was 6 weeks. Assessments of the patients were made before, midway, and after intervention, and at 6 and 12 months after stroke. In this study, 62 patients were reassessed at 5 years after stroke. The Brunnström-Fugl-Meyer (BFM) test, Action Research Arm (ARA) test, and Barthel index (BI) were used as the primary outcome measures. RESULTS: At the 5-year follow-up, there was a statistically significant difference for both the BFM and ARA tests in favor of the experimental group. The mean differences in improvement between the groups from the initial evaluation to the 5-year assessment corresponded to 17 points on the BFM and 17.4 on the ARA. No effect was found for the BI. The treatment was most effective in patients with a severe initial motor deficit. CONCLUSIONS: Adding a specific intervention for the arm during the acute phase after a stroke resulted in a clinically meaningful and long-lasting effect on motor function. The effect can be attributed to early, repetitive, and targeted stimulation.
ISSN: 0039-2499
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Physical Medicine and Revalidation Section (-)
Research Group for Neuromotor Rehabilitation
Leuven Biostatistics and Statistical Bioinformatics Centre (L-BioStat)
Gerontology and Geriatrics
Research Group for Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation
# (joint) last author

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