Susan M. Linder, Anson B. Rosenfeldt, Tanujit Dey, Jay L. Alberts; Forced Aerobic Exercise Preceding Task Practice Improves Motor Recovery Poststroke. Am J Occup Ther 2017;71(2):7102290020. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2017.020297
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© 2019 American Occupational Therapy Association
OBJECTIVE. To understand how two types of aerobic exercise affect upper-extremity motor recovery post-stroke. Our aims were to (1) evaluate the feasibility of having people who had a stroke complete an aerobic exercise intervention and (2) determine whether forced or voluntary exercise differentially facilitates upper-extremity recovery when paired with task practice.
METHOD. Seventeen participants with chronic stroke completed twenty-four 90-min sessions over 8 wk. Aerobic exercise was immediately followed by task practice. Participants were randomized to forced or voluntary aerobic exercise groups or to task practice only.
RESULTS. Improvement on the Fugl-Meyer Assessment exceeded the minimal clinically important difference: 12.3, 4.8, and 4.4 for the forced exercise, voluntary exercise, and repetitive task practice–only groups, respectively. Only the forced exercise group exhibited a statistically significant improvement.
CONCLUSION. People with chronic stroke can safely complete intensive aerobic exercise. Forced aerobic exercise may be optimal in facilitating motor recovery associated with task practice.
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