Effects of the hybrid of neuromuscular electrical stimulation and noxious thermal stimulation on upper extremity motor recovery in patients with stroke: A randomized controlled trial

Chien-Chih CHEN, Yu-Ching TANG, Miao-Ju HSU, Sing Kai LO, Jau-Hong LIN

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) and noxious thermal stimulation (NTS) have been developed and incorporated in stroke rehabilitation.
Objective: This study aimed to compare the effects of NMES, NTS, and the hybrid of NMES and NTS ("Hybrid") on motor recovery of upper extremity (UE) for patients with stroke.
Methods: We conducted a prospective, single-blind randomized controlled trial with concealed allocation. Forty-three patients with chronic stroke (onset >6 months) were randomly assigned to three groups (NMES, NTS, and "Hybrid"). In addition to conventional rehabilitation, participants received 30 min of NMES or 30 min of NTS or 15 min of NTS followed by 15 min of NMES. The treatment period was 8 weeks, 3 days/week, 30 min/time. The UE subscale of Fugl-Meyer assessment (UE-FMA, the primary outcome), Motricity index, modified Ashworth scale, and Barthel index were administered by a blinded assessor at baseline, posttreatment, and one-month follow-up.
Results: Most of the participants had mild-to-moderate disability in activity of daily living. No significant differences in the outcome measures at posttreatment and one-month follow-up were found among the NMES group (n = 13), NTS group (n = 13), and the hybrid of NMES and NTS group (n = 17). However, significant score changes in UE-FMA (p < 0.025) from baseline to posttreatment and one-month follow-up were found for the "Hybrid" group.
Conclusions: This study reveals that the hybrid of NMES and NTS therapy appears to be beneficial to UE recovery after stroke but is not superior to NMES or NTS alone. Copyright © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66-72
JournalTopics in Stroke Rehabilitation
Volume26
Issue number1
Early online dateOct 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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Upper Extremity
Electric Stimulation
Randomized Controlled Trials
Hot Temperature
Stroke
Activities of Daily Living
Rehabilitation
Outcome Assessment (Health Care)
Therapeutics

Citation

Chen, C.-C., Tang, Y.-C., Hsu, M.-J., Lo, S.-K., & Lin, J.-H. (2019). Effects of the hybrid of neuromuscular electrical stimulation and noxious thermal stimulation on upper extremity motor recovery in patients with stroke: A randomized controlled trial. Topics in Stroke Rehabilitation, 26(1), 66-72. doi: 10.1080/10749357.2018.1540458

Keywords

  • Stroke
  • Rehabilitation
  • Neuromuscular electrical stimulation
  • Thermal stimulation
  • Upper extremity
  • Motor recovery