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Does the use of a sensory re-education programme improve the somatosensory and motor function of the upper limb in subacute stroke? A single case experimental design

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Purpose: The purpose was to evaluate the effects of a sensory re-education programme on the somatosensory and motor function of the upper limb in subacute stroke.

Participant: The participant was a subacute stroke patient with radiological evidence of first unilateral stroke, with motor and sensory impairments.

Procedures: Following a baseline period to establish a pattern of sensory function, a sensory re-education programme was delivered over 10 sessions. The treatment occurred three times a week on set days and was administered by a trained assistant.

Main outcome measures: The Rivermead Assessment of Somatosensory Performance (RASP) and the Upper Limb – Motor Assessment Scale (UL-MAS) were completed throughout the baseline phase and then at weekly intervals until the final day of the study. The Functional Independence Measure was completed at the start and end of the intervention phase.

Results: Surface pressure touch and surface localisation were the most impaired during the baseline phase. Proprioceptive movement and proprioceptive direction showed gradual improvement throughout the intervention phase.

Conclusion: The results suggest that there may have been an effect on proprioception in the upper limb following intervention. The inconsistency during the baseline phase makes definitive conclusions difficult to draw. The change in proprioception did not have any effect on motor recovery. Further discussion is needed on the implementation of sensory re-education in the subacute stroke population.


Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4276/030802209X12601857794853

Publication date: December 1, 2009

More about this publication?
  • The British Journal of Occupational Therapy (BJOT) is the official journal of the College of Occupational Therapists. Its purpose is to publish articles relevant to theory, practice, research, education and management in occupational therapy internationally.

    BJOT publishes research articles, critical reviews, practice analyses, opinion pieces, editorials, letters to the editor, book reviews and an annual index. Please refer to the author's guide at http://www.cot.co.uk/british-journal-bjot/british-journal-occupational-therapy

    Submissions can be made at http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/bjot

    The 2012 Impact Factor for The British Journal of Occupational Therapy is 1.096.

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