Repetitive Bilateral Arm Training With Rhythmic Auditory Cueing Improves Motor Function in Chronic Hemiparetic Stroke
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Background and Purpose—Chronic upper extremity hemiparesis is a leading cause of functional disability after stroke. We investigated the hypothesis that bilateral arm training with rhythmic auditory cueing (BATRAC) will improve motor function in the hemiparetic arm of stroke patients.
Methods—In this single group pilot study we determined the effects of 6 weeks of BATRAC on 14 patients with chronic hemiparetic stroke (median time after stroke, 30 months) immediately after training and at 2 months after training. Four 5-minute periods per session (3 times per week) of BATRAC were performed with the use of a custom-designed arm training machine.
Results—The patients showed significant and potentially durable increases in the following: Fugl-Meyer Upper Extremity Motor Performance Test of impairment (P<0.0004), Wolf Motor Function Test (performance time measure, P<0.02), and University of Maryland Arm Questionnaire for Stroke measuring daily use of the hemiparetic arm (P<0.002). Isometric strength improved in elbow flexion (P<0.05) and wrist flexion (P<0.02) for the paretic arm and in elbow flexion (P<0.02) and wrist extension (P<0.02) for the nonparetic arm. Active range of motion improved for paretic-side shoulder extension (P<0.01), wrist flexion (P<0.004), and thumb opposition (P<0.002), and passive range of motion improved for paretic wrist flexion (P<0.03).
Conclusions—Six weeks of BATRAC improves functional motor performance of the paretic upper extremity as well as a few changes in isometric strength and range of motion. These benefits are largely sustained at 8 weeks after training cessation.
- Received March 14, 2000.
- Revision received July 12, 2000.
- Accepted July 12, 2000.
- Copyright © 2000 by American Heart Association