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Volume 43 Number 2, March/April 2006
Pages 171 — 184

Abstract - Systematic review of the effect of robot-aided therapy on recovery of the hemiparetic arm after stroke

Gerdienke B. Prange, MSc;1* Michiel J. A. Jannink, PhD;1 Catharina G . M. Groothuis-Oudshoorn, PhD;1
Hermie J. Hermens, PhD;1-2 Maarten J. IJzerman, PhD, PT1,3

1Roessingh Research and Development, Enschede, the Netherlands; 2Department of Biosignals and Systems,
University of Twente, Enschede, the Netherlands; 3Biomedical Technological Institute, University of Twente, Enschede, the Netherlands
Abstract — A limited number of clinical studies have examined the effect of poststroke rehabilitation with robotic devices on hemiparetic arm function. We systematically reviewed the literature to assess the effect of robot-aided therapy on stroke patients' upper-limb motor control and functional abilities. Eight clinical trials were identified and reviewed. For four of these studies, we also pooled short-term mean changes in Fugl-Meyer scores before and after robot-aided therapy. We found that robot-aided therapy of the proximal upper limb improves short- and long-term motor control of the paretic shoulder and elbow in subacute and chronic patients; however, we found no consistent influence on functional abilities. In addition, robot-aided therapy appears to improve motor control more than conventional therapy.
Key words: cerebrovascular accident, exercise therapy, motor recovery, proximal upper limb, rehabilitation, robot-aided therapy, robotics, stroke, systematic review, upper limb.

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