Efficacy of myoelectric bracing in moderately impaired stroke survivors: A randomized, controlled trial

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


External Institution(s)

  • Ohio State University


Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberjrm00017
JournalJournal of Rehabilitation Medicine
Issue number2
StatusPublished - Jan 1 2020


Background: Repetitive, task-specific practice increases functioning of the paretic upper extremity and decreases upper extremity motor impairment. One method to increase participation in repetitive, task-specific practice is an upper extremity myoelectric device, called the "Myomo", which uses surface electromyography signals to assist with active movement of the moderately impaired hemiplegic upper extremity. Objective: To determine the efficacy of regimens comprised of: (i) Myomo + repetitive, task-specific practice; (ii) repetitive, task-specific practice only; and (iii) Myomo only on outcomes for hemiplegic arm. Methods: Using a randomized, controlled, singleblinded design, 34 subjects (20 males; mean age 55.8 years), exhibiting chronic, moderate, stable, post-stroke, upper extremity hemiparesis, were included. Participants were randomized to one of the above conditions, and administered treatment for 1 h/day on 3 days/week over an 8-week period. The primary outcome measure was the upper extremity section of the Fugl-Meyer Impairment Scale (FM); the secondary measurement was the Arm Motor Activity Test (AMAT). Results: The groups exhibited similar score increases of approximately +2 points, resulting in no differences in the amount of change on the FM (H = 0.376, p = 0.83) and AMAT (H = 0.978 p = 0.61). Conclusion: The results suggest that a therapeutic approach integrating myoelectric bracing yields highly comparable outcomes to those derived from repetitive, task-specific practice-only. Myoelectric bracing could be used as alternative for labour-intensive upper extremity training due to its equivalent efficacy to hands-on manual therapy with moderately impaired stroke survivors.

    Research areas

  • Hemiplegia, Occupational therapy, Rehabilitation, Stroke, Upper extremity

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