Brief Report  |   January 2018
Pilot Study Combining Electrical Stimulation and a Dynamic Hand Orthosis for Functional Recovery in Chronic Stroke
Author Affiliations
  • Barbara M. Doucet, PhD, LOTR, is Associate Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy, Health Sciences Center, School of Allied Health Professions, Louisiana State University, New Orleans; bdouc3@lsuhsc.edu
  • Joni A. Mettler, PhD, is Assistant Professor, Division of Exercise and Sport Science, Department of Health and Human Performance, Texas State University, San Marcos
Article Information
Hand and Upper Extremity / Neurologic Conditions / Splinting / Stroke
Brief Report   |   January 2018
Pilot Study Combining Electrical Stimulation and a Dynamic Hand Orthosis for Functional Recovery in Chronic Stroke
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, January 2018, Vol. 72, 7202345030p1-7202345030p6. doi:10.5014/ajot.2018.025007
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, January 2018, Vol. 72, 7202345030p1-7202345030p6. doi:10.5014/ajot.2018.025007
Abstract

OBJECTIVE. We investigated the effect of a combined neuromuscular electrical stimulation (ES) and dynamic hand orthosis (DHO) regimen with a group of people with chronic stroke to improve performance on specific daily tasks.

METHOD. Four people with chronic stroke participated in an ES–DHO regimen using the affected upper extremity 5×/wk for 6 wk. Outcome measures included grip strength, range of motion (ROM), and analysis of muscle activation–deactivation during release of grasp through electromyography. Ability to perform specific daily living tasks was assessed using the Assessment of Motor and Process Skills (AMPS).

RESULTS. Results suggested that improvements in strength, ROM, and grasp deactivation are possible with the combined ES–DHO regimen. All participants’ AMPS motor scores improved.

CONCLUSIONS. An ES–DHO regimen may improve motor skills needed for functional task performance in people with chronic stroke. Results should be interpreted cautiously because of the pilot nature of the study and the small sample size.