Objective: To gain experience with ‘Ness Handmaster Orthosis’ treatment in chronic stroke patients, to identify suitable patients, and to study the effects of treatment. Design: Exploratory, uncontrolled trial with measurement of motor functions and muscle tone of the upper extremity prior to, during, upon completion, and six weeks after a treatment period. Setting: A rehabilitation centre in the Netherlands. Subjects: Eighteen chronic stroke patients (more than six months post stroke), who exhibited upper extremity dysfunction due to spastic paresis. Intervention: A 10-week therapy programme of functional electrical stimulation by means of the ‘Ness Handmaster Orthosis’. Results: The results of 15 patients were available for analysis. The differences in motor score and muscle tone before and at the end of treatment were statistically significant (p = 0.008 and 0.021, respectively). The follow-up measurements showed that the effects on motor functions and muscle tone decreased after therapy completion. Stratification of the patients in two subgroups indicated that patients with initial high motor scores benefited most during the intervention period. Conclusion: The present study suggests that Handmaster treatment possesses therapeutic opportunities in chronic stroke patients with spastic paresis of the upper extremity.
|Publication status||Published - 2001|