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  • 1.
    Johansson, Gudrun M.
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy.
    Grip, Helena
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy.
    Levin, Mindy F
    Häger, Charlotte
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy.
    The added value of kinematic evaluation of the timed finger-to-nose test in persons post-stroke.2017In: Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation, ISSN 1743-0003, E-ISSN 1743-0003, Vol. 14, article id 11Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    BACKGROUND: Upper limb coordination in persons post-stroke may be estimated by the commonly used Finger-to-Nose Test (FNT), which is also part of the Fugl-Meyer Assessment. The total movement time (TMT) is used as a clinical outcome measure, while kinematic evaluation also enables an objective quantification of movement quality and motor performance. Our aims were to kinematically characterize FNT performance in persons post-stroke and controls and to investigate the construct validity of the test in persons with varying levels of impairment post-stroke.

    METHODS: A three-dimensional motion capture system recorded body movements during performance of the FNT in 33 persons post-stroke who had mild or moderate upper limb motor impairments (Fugl-Meyer scores of 50-62 or 32-49, respectively), and 41 non-disabled controls. TMT and kinematic variables of the hand (pointing time, peak speed, time to peak speed, number of movement units, path ratio, and pointing accuracy), elbow/shoulder joints (range of motion, interjoint coordination), and scapular/trunk movement were calculated. Our analysis focused on the pointing phase (knee to nose movement of the FNT). Independent t or Mann-Whitney U tests and effect sizes were used to analyze group differences. Sub-group analyses based on movement time and stroke severity were performed. Within the stroke group, simple and multiple linear regression were used to identify relationships between TMT to kinematic variables.

    RESULTS: The stroke group had significant slower TMT (mean difference 2.6 s, d = 1.33) than the control group, and six other kinematic variables showed significant group differences. At matched speeds, the stroke group had lower accuracy and excessive scapular and trunk movements compared to controls. Pointing time and elbow flexion during the pointing phase were most related to stroke severity. For the stroke group, the number of movement units during the pointing phase showed the strongest association with the TMT, and explained 60% of the TMT variance.

    CONCLUSIONS: The timed FNT discriminates between persons with mild and moderate upper limb impairments. However, kinematic analysis to address construct validity highlights differences in pointing movement post-stroke that are not captured in the timed FNT.

  • 2.
    Johansson, Gudrun M.
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy.
    Häger, Charlotte K.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy.
    A modified standardized nine hole peg test for valid and reliable kinematic assessment of dexterity post-stroke2019In: Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation, ISSN 1743-0003, E-ISSN 1743-0003, Vol. 16, no 1, article id 8Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    BACKGROUND: Impairments in dexterity after stroke are commonly assessed by the Nine Hole Peg Test (NHPT), where the only outcome variable is the time taken to complete the test. We aimed to kinematically quantify and to compare the motor performance of the NHPT in persons post-stroke and controls (discriminant validity), to compare kinematics to clinical assessments of upper extremity function (convergent validity), and to establish the within-session reliability.

    METHODS: The NHPT was modified and standardized (S-NHPT) by 1) replacing the original peg container with an additional identical nine hole pegboard, 2) adding a specific order of which peg to pick, and 3) specifying to insert the peg taken from the original pegboard into the corresponding hole of the target pegboard. Eight optical cameras registered upper body kinematics of 30 persons post-stroke and 41 controls during the S-NHPT. Four sequential phases of the task were identified and analyzed for kinematic group differences. Clinical assessments were performed.

    RESULTS: The stroke group performed the S-NHPT slower (total movement time; mean diff 9.8 s, SE diff 1.4), less smoothly (number of movement units; mean diff 0.4, SE diff 0.1) and less efficiently (path ratio; mean diff 0.05, SE diff 0.02), and used increased scapular/trunk movements (acromion displacement; mean diff 15.7 mm, SE diff 3.5) than controls (P < 0.000, r ≥ 0.32), indicating discriminant validity. The stroke group also spent a significantly longer time grasping and releasing pegs relative to the transfer phases of the task compared to controls. Within the stroke group, kinematics correlated with time to complete the S-NHPT and the Fugl-Meyer Assessment (rs 0.38-0.70), suggesting convergent validity. Within-session reliability for the S-NHPT was generally high to very high for both groups (ICCs 0.71-0.94).

    CONCLUSIONS: The S-NHPT shows adequate discriminant validity, convergent validity and within-session reliability. Standardization of the test facilitates kinematic analysis of movement performance, which in turn enables identification of differences in movement control between persons post-stroke and controls that may otherwise not be captured through the traditional time-based NHPT. Future research should ascertain further psychometric properties, e.g. sensitivity, of the S-NHPT.

  • 3.
    Röijezon, Ulrik
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy. Centre for Musculoskeletal Research, University of Gävle, Gävle, Sweden; Alfta Research Foundation, Alfta, Sweden .
    Björklund, Martin
    Centre for Musculoskeletal Research, University of Gävle, Gävle, Sweden; Alfta Research Foundation, Alfta, Sweden.
    Bergenheim, Mikael
    Centre for Musculoskeletal Research, University of Gävle, Gävle, Sweden Department of Surgery, Central Hospital Karlstad, Karlstad, Sweden.
    Djupsjöbacka, Mats
    Centre for Musculoskeletal Research, University of Gävle, Gävle, Sweden.
    A novel method for neck coordination exercise: a pilot study on persons with chronic non-specific neck pain2008In: Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation, ISSN 1743-0003, E-ISSN 1743-0003, Vol. 5, p. 36-Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    BACKGROUND: Chronic neck pain is a common problem and is often associated with changes in sensorimotor functions, such as reduced proprioceptive acuity of the neck, altered coordination of the cervical muscles, and increased postural sway. In line with these findings there are studies supporting the efficacy of exercises targeting different aspects of sensorimotor function, for example training aimed at improving proprioception and muscle coordination. To further develop this type of exercises we have designed a novel device and method for neck coordination training. The aim of the study was to investigate the clinical applicability of the method and to obtain indications of preliminary effects on sensorimotor functions, symptoms and self-rated characteristics in non-specific chronic neck pain

    METHODS: The study was designed as an uncontrolled clinical trial including fourteen subjects with chronic non-specific neck pain. A new device was designed to allow for an open skills task with adjustable difficulty. With visual feedback, subjects had to control the movement of a metal ball on a flat surface with a rim strapped on the subjects' head. Eight training sessions were performed over a four week period. Skill acquisition was measured throughout the intervention period. After intervention subjects were interviewed about their experience of the exercise and pain and sensorimotor functions, including the fast and slow components of postural sway and jerkiness-, range-, position sense-, movement time- and velocity of cervical rotation, were measured. At six-month follow up, self-rated pain, health and functioning was collected.

    RESULTS: The subjects improved their skill to perform the exercise and were overall positive to the method. No residual negative side-effects due to the exercise were reported. After intervention the fast component of postural sway (p = 0.019) and jerkiness of cervical rotation (p = 0.032) were reduced. The follow up showed decreased disability (one out of three indices) and fear of movement, and increased general health (three out of eight dimensions).

    CONCLUSION: The results support the clinical applicability of the method. The improvements in sensorimotor functions may suggest transfer from the exercise to other, non-task specific motor functions and justifies a future randomized controlled trial.

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