Research Article  |   April 2017
Change in Functional Arm Use Is Associated With Somatosensory Skills After Sensory Retraining Poststroke
Author Affiliations
  • Megan Turville, B. OT (Hons), B. BSc, is Doctoral Candidate, Department of Community and Clinical Allied Health, School of Allied Health, College of Science, Health, and Engineering, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia; and Neurorehabilitation and Recovery, Stroke Division, Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, Heidelberg, Victoria, Australia; megan.turville@florey.edu.au
  • Leeanne M. Carey, PhD, OT, FAOTA, is Professor of Occupational Therapy, Discipline Lead, Occupational Therapy, Department of Community and Clinical Allied Health, School of Allied Health, College of Science, Health, and Engineering, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia; and Head, Neurorehabilitation and Recovery, Stroke Division, Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, Heidelberg, Victoria, Australia
  • Thomas A. Matyas, PhD, is Adjunct Professor, Occupational Therapy, School of Allied Health and School of Psychology and Public Health, College of Science, Health, and Engineering, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia; and Honorary Professional Fellow, Neurorehabilitation and Recovery, Stroke Division, Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, Heidelberg, Victoria, Australia
  • Jannette Blennerhassett, PhD, PT, is Physical Therapist, Austin Health, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Article Information
Neurologic Conditions / Stroke / Special Issue
Research Article   |   April 2017
Change in Functional Arm Use Is Associated With Somatosensory Skills After Sensory Retraining Poststroke
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, April 2017, Vol. 71, 7103190070p1-7103190070p9. doi:10.5014/ajot.2017.024950
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, April 2017, Vol. 71, 7103190070p1-7103190070p9. doi:10.5014/ajot.2017.024950
Abstract

OBJECTIVE. We investigated changes in functional arm use after retraining for stroke-related somatosensory loss and identified whether such changes are associated with somatosensory discrimination skills.

METHOD. Data were pooled (N = 80) from two randomized controlled trials of somatosensory retraining. We used the Motor Activity Log to measure perceived amount of arm use in daily activities and the Action Research Arm Test to measure performance capacity. Somatosensory discrimination skills were measured using standardized modality-specific measures.

RESULTS. Participants’ arm use improved after somatosensory retraining (z = −6.80, p < .01). Change in arm use was weakly associated with somatosensation (tactile, β = 0.31, p < .01; proprioception, β = −0.17, p > .05; object recognition, β = 0.13, p < .05).

CONCLUSION. Change in daily arm use was related to a small amount of variance in somatosensory outcomes. Stroke survivors’ functional arm use can increase after somatosensory retraining, with change varying among survivors.