Combined Clinic-Home Approach for Upper Limb Robotic Therapy after Stroke: A Pilot Study

Grace J. Kim, Lisa Rivera, Joel Stein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective To investigate the feasibility of a combined clinic-home intervention using a robotic elbow brace and, secondarily, to collect preliminary data on the efficacy of this clinic-home intervention. Design Nonrandomized pre-/postinterventional study. Setting Outpatient clinic and participants' homes. Participants Individuals at least 6 months after stroke (N=11; 5 women and 6 men; mean age, 51.7y; mean time since stroke, 7.6y; mean Fugl-Meyer Assessment of the Upper Extremity [FMA-UE] score, 22 of 66) were enrolled from the community. Interventions Participants received training in an outpatient clinic from an experienced occupational therapist to gain independence with use of the device (3-9 sessions) followed by a 6-week home program using the device at home. Main Outcome Measures Five instruments were administered before and after the study intervention: Modified Ashworth Scale, Box and Blocks test, FMA-UE, Arm Motor Ability Test, and Motor Activity Log-Amount of Use and Motor Activity Log-How Well subscales (MAL-AOU, MAL-HW). Results Nine participants completed the study. Participants used the device on average 42.9min/d, 5.3d/wk. The FMA-UE (t=3.32; P=.01), MAL-AOU (t=4.40; P=.002), and MAL-HW (t=4.02; P=.004) scores showed statistically significant improvement from baseline to discharge; the MAL-AOU (t=2.61; P=.035) and MAL-HW (t=2.47; P=.043) scores were also significantly improved from baseline to 3-month follow-up. Conclusions This combined clinic-home intervention was feasible and effective. Participants demonstrated improvements in arm impairment and self-reported use of the arm from baseline to discharge; they continued to report significant improvement in actual use of the arm at 3-month follow-up.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2243-2248
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2015


  • Paresis
  • Rehabilitation
  • Robotics
  • Stroke
  • clinic-home approach
  • combined approach
  • upper limb
  • upper limb robotic therapy
  • robotic therapy
  • post-stroke
  • clinic-home intervention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • General Medicine


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