Using Robot-Based Variables during Upper Limb Robot-Assisted Training in Subacute Stroke Patients to Quantify Treatment Dose
In post-stroke motor rehabilitation, treatment dose description is estimated approximately. The aim of this retrospective study was to quantify the treatment dose using robot-measured variables during robot-assisted training in patients with subacute stroke. Thirty-six patients performed fifteen 60 min sessions (Session 1–Session 15) of planar, target-directed movements in addition to occupational therapy over 4 (SD 2) weeks. Fugl–Meyer Assessment (FMA) was carried out pre- and post-treatment.
... he actual time practiced (percentage of a 60 min session), the number of repeated movements, and the total distance traveled were analyzed across sessions for each training modality: assist as needed, unassisted, and against resistance. The FMA score improved post-treatment by 11 (10) points (Session 1 vs. Session 15, p < 0.001). In Session 6, all modalities pooled, the number of repeated movements increased by 129 (252) (vs. Session 1, p = 0.043), the total distance traveled increased by 1743 (3345) cm (vs. Session 1, p = 0.045), and the actual time practiced remained unchanged. In Session 15, the actual time practiced showed changes only in the assist-as-needed modality: −13 (23) % (vs. Session 1, p = 0.013). This description of changes in quantitative-practice-related variables when using different robotic training modalities provides comprehensive information related to the treatment dose in rehabilitation. The treatment dose intensity may be enhanced by increasing both the number of movements and the motor difficulty of performing each movement.