Weakness of the leg/foot and arm/hand is a common problem following stroke. Many treatment options include functional training (such as walking and arm use). However, the benefits of this treatment largely depend on the patient having enough strength to perform the functional tasks. Patients with substantial weakness, those who are most in need of therapy, may not be able to do this. Previous research suggests that additional strengthening exercises might help although it appears that more strength in the arm and leg does not always lead to improved walking or better use of the arm. This project will investigate whether adding muscle strengthening exercises to functioning training will improve the ability of stroke survivors to perform everyday functional tasks. Specifically, this study aims to identify: whether larger trials of FST are needed; stroke survivors’ attitudes towards FST; appropriate design of a future large scale trial and the cost effectiveness of this treatment.
14 January 2010