The aim of this study is to test a new treatment intended to improve the use of the hand, arm and shoulder following stroke. The treatment uses a muscle stimulator to assist hand opening and straightening of the elbow whilst reaching forward at the shoulder. The device is triggered by a movement sensor, when the wearer attempts to reach forward for an object and uses electrical stimulation to help them finish the movement. So far, evidence suggests that using the device assists the user to relearn the movements of the hand and arm.
This study will compare 2 groups of people who have had a stroke. The first group will receive treatment with the new device and additional practice exercises to do at home for 3 months. The second group will have the same exercises but without the added stimulation from the device. Measurements will then be taken to see if there is a difference in hand and arm function between those stroke survivors who have, and have not used the device, both immediately after the treatment and again at 3 months. The researchers will also take measures of quality of life and cost effectiveness.
1 May 2009