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A Mixed Methods Small Pilot Study to Describe the Effects of Upper Limb Training Using a Virtual Reality Gaming System in People with Chronic Stroke.

Stockley, RC and O'Connor, DA and Smith, P and Moss, S and Allsop, L and Edge, W (2017) A Mixed Methods Small Pilot Study to Describe the Effects of Upper Limb Training Using a Virtual Reality Gaming System in People with Chronic Stroke. Rehabilitation Research and Practice, 2017. ISSN 2090-2867

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Abstract

Introduction. This small pilot study aimed to examine the feasibility of an upper limb rehabilitation system (the YouGrabber) in a community rehabilitation centre, qualitatively explore participant experiences, and describe changes after using it. Methods and Material. Chronic stroke participants attending a community rehabilitation centre in the UK were randomised to either a YouGrabber or a gym group and completed 18 training sessions over 12 weeks. The motor activity log, box and block, and fatigue severity score were administered by a blinded assessor before and after the intervention. Semistructured interviews were used to ascertain participants' views about using the YouGrabber. Results. Twelve participants (6 females) with chronic stroke were recruited. All adhered to the intervention. There were no adverse events, dropouts, or withdrawal. There were no significant differences between the YouGrabber and gym groups although there were significant within group improvements on the motor activity log (median change: 0.59, range: 0.2-1.25; p < 0.05) within the YouGrabber group. Participants reported that the YouGrabber was motivational but they expressed frustration with technical challenges. Conclusions. The YouGrabber appeared practical and may improve upper limb activities in people several months after stroke. Future work could examine cognition, cost effectiveness, and different training intensities.

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