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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/19137

Title: Robot-supported upper limb training in a virtual learning environment : a pilot randomized controlled trial in persons with MS
Authors: Feys, Peter
Coninx, Karin
Kerkhofs, Lore
De Weyer, Tom
Truyens, Veronik
Maris, Anneleen
Lamers, Ilse
Issue Date: 2015
Abstract: Background: Despite the functional impact of upper limb dysfunction in multiple sclerosis (MS), effects of intensive exercise programs and specifically robot-supported training have been rarely investigated in persons with advanced MS. Aim: To investigate the effects of additional robot-supported upper limb training in persons with MS compared to conventional treatment only. Methods: Seventeen persons with MS (pwMS) (median Expanded Disability Status Scale of 8, range 3.5-8.5) were included in a pilot RCT comparing the effects of additional robot-supported training to conventional treatment only. Additional training consisted of 3 weekly sessions of 30 min interacting with the HapticMaster robot within an individualised virtual learning environment (I-TRAVLE). Clinical measures at body function (Hand grip strength, Motricity Index, Fugl-Meyer) and activity (Action Research Arm test, Motor Activity Log) level were administered before and after an intervention period of 8 weeks. The intervention group were also evaluated on robot-mediated movement tasks in three dimensions, providing active range of motion, movement duration and speed and hand-path ratio as indication of movement efficiency in the spatial domain. Non-parametric statistics were applied. Results: PwMS commented favourably on the robot-supported virtual learning environment and reported functional training effects in daily life. Movement tasks in three dimensions, measured with the robot, were performed in less time and for the transporting and reaching movement tasks more efficiently. There were however no significant changes for any clinical measure in neither intervention nor control group although observational analyses of the included cases indicated large improvements on the Fugl-Meyer in persons with more marked upper limb dysfunction. Conclusion: Robot-supported training lead to more efficient movement execution which was however, on group level, not reflected by significant changes on standard clinical tests. Persons with more marked upper limb dysfunction may benefit most from additional robot-supported training, but larger studies are needed.
Notes: [Feys, Peter; Maris, Anneleen; Lamers, Ilse] Hasselt Univ, Fac Med & Life Sci, REVAL Rehabil Res Ctr, BIOMED Biomed Res Inst, B-3590 Diepenbeek, Belgium. [Coninx, Karin; De Weyer, Tom] Hasselt Univ, iMinds, Expertise Ctr Digital Media tUL, B-3590 Diepenbeek, Belgium. [Kerkhofs, Lore; Truyens, Veronik] Rehabil & MS Ctr Overpelt, B-3900 Overpelt, Belgium.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/19137
DOI: 10.1186/s12984-015-0043-3
ISI #: 000358476600001
ISSN: 1743-0003
Category: A1
Type: Journal Contribution
Validation: ecoom, 2016
Appears in Collections: Research publications

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