We systematically reviewed and analyzed the literature to find studies that used robotic devices in upperlimb rehabilitation of people with stroke. We found that when the duration/intensity of conventional therapy is matched with that of robot-assisted therapy, no difference exists between intensive conventional therapy and robot therapy groups in terms of motor recovery, activities of daily living, strength, and motor control. However, depending on the stage of recovery, extra sessions of robot-assisted therapy in addition to conventional therapy are more beneficial than regular therapy alone in motor recovery of the shoulder and elbow of patients with stroke. This review provides researchers a summary of how robotics therapies and technologies can help stroke survivors regain movement of their arms and hands and will help guide researchers and policy makers about the future direction of research in this field.
Volume 49 Number 4, 2012
Pages 479 — 496
Last Reviewed or Updated Wednesday, May 30, 2012 10:11 AM