Importance: The effects of robot-assisted task-oriented training with tangible objects among patients with stroke remain unknown.
Objective: To investigate the effects of robot-assisted therapy (RT) with a Gloreha device on sensorimotor and hand function and ability to perform activities of daily living (ADLs) among patients with stroke.
Design: Randomized, crossover-controlled, assessor-blinded study.
Setting: Rehabilitation clinic.
Participants: Patients (N = 24) with moderate motor and sensory deficits.
Intervention: Patients participated in 12 RT sessions and 12 conventional therapy (CT) sessions, with order counterbalanced, for 6 wk, with a 1-mo washout period.
Outcomes and Measures: Performance was assessed four times: before and after RT and before and after CT. Outcomes were measured using the Fugl-Meyer Assessment–Upper Extremity (FMA–UE), Box and Block Test, electromyography of the extensor digitorum communis (EDC) and brachioradialis, and a grip dynamometer for motor function; Semmes–Weinstein hand monofilament and the Revised Nottingham Sensory Assessment for sensory function; and the Modified Barthel Index (MBI) for ADL ability.
Results: RT resulted in significantly improved FMA–UE proximal (p = .038) and total (p = .046) and MBI (p = .030) scores. Participants’ EDC muscles exhibited higher efficacy during the small-block grasping task of the Box and Block Test after RT than after CT (p = .050).
Conclusions and Relevance: RT with the Gloreha device can facilitate whole-limb function, leading to beneficial effects on arm motor function, EDC muscle recruitment efficacy, and ADL ability for people with subacute and chronic stroke.
What This Article Adds: The evidence suggests that a task-oriented approach combined with the Gloreha device can facilitate engagement in whole-limb active movement and efficiently promote functional recovery.