The latest medical research on Rehabilitation Medicine

The research magnet gathers the latest research from around the web, based on your specialty area. Below you will find a sample of some of the most recent articles from reputable medical journals about rehabilitation medicine gathered by our medical AI research bot.

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A team approach to applying the international classification of functioning, disability and health rehabilitation set in clinical evaluation.

Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine

To develop a team approach to applying the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health Rehabilitation Set (ICF-RS) in clinical evaluation.

A 2-round Delphi survey and expert panel discussion were used to generate the team approach. Firstly, the candidate types of professionals for team rating were chosen through expert panel discussion. A carefully selected group of participants was then asked to score the suitability of physicians, nurses, or other candidate therapists for each category's rating, applying the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health Rehabilitation Set in clinical evaluation. After initial assignment of category to types of professionals, a second round Delphi survey was conducted to quantify the professionals' agreement with the category assignments and generate a final team evaluation approach.

Thirty of the category assignments achieved consensus. The final team evaluation approach assigned 6 categories to physicians to evaluate, 7 categories to nurses, 9 categories to physiotherapists, and 8 to occupational therapists.

Such a team evaluation approach could facilitate implementation of the ICF-RS in clinical settings and provide a more convenient assessment tool for professionals.

Use of virtual reality-based training in different fields of rehabilitation: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine

To analyse the effectiveness of virtual reality-based interventions within several fields of rehabilitation, and to investigate whether the outcomes of virtual reality-based interventions, in terms of upper or lower limb function, gait and balance, differ with respect to the virtual reality system used.

A search of MEDLINE database resulted in an initial total of 481 records. Of these, 27 articles were included in the study. A final total of 20 articles, published between 2012 and 2019, were included in the study. Two independent reviewers selected potentially relevant articles based on the inclusion criteria for full-text reading. They extracted data, and evaluated the methodological quality of each study.

Seventeen studies were included in the meta-analysis. Eight studies analysed upper limb function, with no significant effect on pooled all measures. Regarding Fugl-Meyer scale results, the effect of specialized virtual reality therapy was found to be significantly better than conventional treatment. No significant differences were observed in effects on hand dexterity and gait. There was a significant difference in effects on balance between specialized virtual reality and conventional treatment. Gaming virtual reality was significantly better than conventional treatment for upper limb function, but not for hand dexterity, gait and balance.

Use of specialized virtual reality and gaming virtual reality can be advantageous for treatment of the upper extremity, but not for hand dexterity and gait. Specialized virtual reality can improve balance.

Convergence Vestibulo-ocular Reflex in Unilateral Vestibular Hypofunction: Behavioral Evidence in Support of a Novel Gaze Stability Exercise.

Journal of Neurologic Physical Therapy

Convergence of the eyes during head rotation increases the gain (eye velocity/head velocity) of the vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR). We sought to know whether convergence would increase the VOR gain (mean + SD) in unilateral vestibular hypofunction (UVH).

Vestibulo-ocular reflex gain during ipsi- and contralesional horizontal head rotation at near (15 cm) and far (150 cm) targets was measured in 22 subjects with UVH and 12 healthy controls. Retinal slip was estimated (retinal slip index [RSI]) as the difference between ideal VOR gain (no retinal slip) and the actual VOR gain.

Convergence did not significantly enhance VOR gain for ipsilesional rotation (mean difference, 0.04; 95% confidence interval [CI], -0.01 to 0.09), near viewing (0.77 ± 0.34) versus far viewing (0.72 ± 0.29), yet the VOR gain during contralesional rotation was greater for near viewing (1.20 ± 0.23) than for far viewing (0.97 ± 0.21; mean difference, 0.23; 95% CI, 0.13-0.32). In the 36% of subjects with recovery of their ipsilesional VOR gain, the vergence effect trended to recover (far VOR gain: 1.06 ± 0.17 vs near VOR gain 1.16 ± 0.21; mean difference, 0.10; 95% CI, -0.02 to 0.22). Ipsilesional head rotation induced greater retinal slip for near (RSI = 0.90 ± 0.34) targets than for far targets (RSI = 0.35 ± 0.29; mean difference, 0.56; 95% CI, 0.51-0.61).

The convergence-mediated VOR gain enhancement is preserved during contralesional but impaired during ipsilesional head rotation. Recovery of ipsilesional passive VOR gain does not equate to restored convergence enhancement, although it did increase ∼10%. These data suggest head motion viewing near targets will increase retinal slip, which warrants consideration as a gaze stability exercise for subjects with UVH.Video Abstract available for more insights from the authors (see Video, Supplemental Digital Content 1, available at:

A practical guide to optimising the benefits of post-stroke spasticity interventions with botulinum toxin-A: an international group consensus.

Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine

This consensus paper is derived from a meeting of an international group of 19 neurological rehabilitation specialists with a combined experience o...

Effect of kinesio taping on hemiplegic shoulder pain: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.

Clinical Rehabilitation

The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of kinesio taping for the management of hemiplegic shoulder pain.

MEDLINE, EMBASE, Web of Science, CENTRAL, CNKI, Wan Fang databases and the grey literature research were searched from inception to July 2020.

We considered randomized controlled trials in English or Chinese that used kinesio taping for the treatment of hemiplegic shoulder pain. Two reviewers independently screened the articles, scored the methodological quality using the PEDro scale, assessed risk of bias using the Cochrane's risk of bias tool and extracted the data. The outcomes included pain, motor function of the upper limb, magnitude of shoulder subluxation and activities of daily living post-intervention.

A total of nine studies (n = 424) met the inclusion criteria. A meta-analysis demonstrated a significant effect of kinesio taping on pain (mean difference(MD)= -1.45, 95% confidence interval(CI): -1.98 to-0.92 cm, p < 0.0001), motor function of upper limb (MD = 4.22,95%CI: 3.49 to 4.95, p < 0.00001), magnitude of shoulder subluxation (standardized mean difference(SMD) = -0.65, 95%CI: -0.95 to -0.35, p < 0.0001) and activities of daily living (MD = 6.86, 95% CI: 3.99 to 9.73, p < 0.00001) post-intervention.

This meta-analysis suggests a beneficial effect of kinesio taping for reducing shoulder subluxation, improving motor function of the upper limb and activities of daily living in patients with hemiplegic shoulder pain post-intervention, which could not be interpreted simply as a placebo effect. And it was associated with reduced pain for patients with chronic stroke.

History of and Insights Into Spinal Cord Stimulation in Parkinson Disease.

Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair

Current available therapies for Parkinson disease (PD) have strong limitations, and patients usually present with refractory symptoms despite all efforts. Deep brain stimulation (DBS), which has been used in PD patients for decades (since 1987), has best indications for symptoms like tremor, motor fluctuations, or dyskinesia. However, postural instability and gait disturbances (PIGD) have restricted benefits with DBS. In 2009, spinal cord stimulation (SCS), a well-established therapy for chronic pain, has emerged as a potential alternative therapy that may help control unresponsive symptoms such as bradykinesia, PIGD, and freezing of gait.

The main studies regarding SCS in PD are reviewed here from the first studies in animal models to the latest clinical trials.

Despite promising findings, the heterogeneity of methodologies used and small samples in human studies pose a challenging problem to be addressed in order to have robust clinical evidence to support SCS as a viable PD treatment.

Elastic bands training after triamcinolone acetonide injection in subacromial bursitis: A randomized clinical trial.

Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine

To investigate the effect of progressive resistance training using resistance (elastic) bands on subacromial bursitis following triamcinolone acetonide injection.

Visual analogue scale (VAS), Constant scores, range of motion (ROM), proprioception, and muscle strength were evaluated at pretreatment and at 3, 12 and 24 weeks' follow-up. Re-treatment ratio was calculated at 1-year follow-up.

At 3 and 12 weeks, both the triamcinolone acetonide group and triamcinolone acetonide plus resistance band training group showed a significant improvement in VAS score, Constant score, ROM, proprioception and muscle strength. Although the scores in the triamcinolone acetonide group had not increased at 24 weeks compared with baseline, the scores in the triamcinolone acetonide plus resistance band training group showed continued improvement at 24 weeks. A lower proportion of patients in the triamcinolone acetonide plus resistance band training bands group than in the triamcinolone acetonide group had received re-treatment at 1-year follow-up (12.1% vs 82.9%).

Progressive resistance training with resistance (elastic) bands has the advantages of extending the benefits of corticosteroid injection and maintaining long-term effects on shoulder function in patients with subacromial bursitis.

Cerebral infarct site and affected vascular territory as factors in breathing weakness in patients with subacute stroke.

Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine

A better understanding of factors influencing breathing weakness in stroke survivors would help in planning rehabilitation therapies. The main objective of this study was to determine whether the location of cerebral infarct is associated with breathing weakness in patients with subacute stroke.

Breathing weakness was defined as > 70% reduction in maximal inspiratory and expiratory pressures (PImax and PEmax, respectively) compared with reference values. Computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging were used to locate stroke lesions, which were classified as cortical, subcortical, cortico-subcortical, brainstem, or cerebellum. The affected cerebrovascular territory was identified to classify stroke subtype. The association between maximal respiratory pressure and affected brain area was studied using median regression analysis.

Breathing weakness was detected in 151 (88.8%) patients. Those with cortical and cortico-subcortical stroke location had the lowest PImax and PEmax values (median 33 cmH2O). This value differed significantly from maximal respiratory pressures of patients with strokes located in the brainstem and the cerebellum, with PImax median differences (β) of 16 cmH2O (95% confidence interval (95% CI) 4.1-27.9) and 27 cmH2O (95% CI 7.8-46.2), respectively, and PEmax median differences of 27 cmH2O (95% CI 11.4-42.7) and 49 cmH2O (95% CI 23.7-74.3), respectively, both of which remained significant after adjustments.

The prevalence of breathing weakness was very high in stroke patients admitted to a neurorehabilitation ward, being more severe in cortical or cortico-subcortical stroke.

A smartphone application to facilitate adherence to home-based exercise after flexor tendon repair: A randomised controlled trial.

Clinical Rehabilitation

Evaluate the effect of a smartphone application on exercise adherence, range of motion and self-efficacy compared to standard rehabilitation after repair of the flexor digitorum profundus tendon.

Prospective multi-centre randomised controlled trial.

Four hand surgery departments in Sweden.

A total of 101 patients (35 women) (mean age 37.5 ± 12.8) were randomised to control (n = 49) or intervention group (n = 52).

A smartphone application to facilitate rehabilitation.

Adherence assessed with the Sport Injury Rehabilitation Adherence Scale at two and six weeks (primary outcome). Secondary outcomes were self-reported adherence in three domains assessed at two and six weeks, self-efficacy assessed with Athlete Injury Self-Efficacy Questionnaire at baseline, two and six weeks. Range of motion and perceived satisfaction with rehabilitation and information were assessed at 12 weeks.

Twenty-five patients were lost to follow-up. There was no significant between group difference in Sport Injury Rehabilitation Adherence Scale at two or six weeks, mean scores (confidence interval, CI 95%) 12.5 (CI 11.8-13.3), 11.8 (CI 11.0-12.8) for the intervention group, and 13.3 (CI 12.6-14.0), 12.8 (CI 12.0-13.7) for the control group. Self-reported adherence for exercise frequency at six weeks was significantly better for the intervention group, 93.2 (CI 86.9-99.5) compared to the controls 82.9 (CI 76.9-88.8) (P = 0.02). There were no differences in range of motion, self-efficacy or satisfaction.

The smartphone application used in this study did not improve adherence, self-efficacy or range of motion compared to standard rehabilitation for flexor tendon injuries. Further research regarding smartphone applications is needed.

I. Randomised controlled trial.

High-intensity functional exercise in older adults with dementia: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

Clinical Rehabilitation

This study aimed to investigate the efficacy of high-intensity functional exercise among older adults with dementia.

In this systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials, we collected articles published before August 2020 from PubMed, Embase, and the Cochrane Library to evaluate the effect of high-intensity functional exercise on older adults with dementia. Primary outcomes included improvements in balance function and gait performance (speed, cadence, and stride length). The secondary outcomes included lower limb strength, activities of daily living, psychiatric well-being, depression, and cognition. Furthermore, we performed subgroup analysis with two high-intensity functional exercise programs: the Umeå program and Hauer's program.

We identified 15 articles describing six trials including older adults with dementia undergoing high-intensity functional exercise or control activity. The meta-analysis indicated that high-intensity functional exercise, both in Hauer's program and in the Umeå program, significantly improved balance function (pooled standardized mean difference 0.57, 95% confidence interval 0.31-0.83). Hauer's program significantly improved gait speed, cadence, stride length, and lower limb strength. Beneficial effects on speed, cadence, and lower limb strength were retained for several months. The Umeå program facilitated activities of daily living and psychiatric well-being, with effects on activities of daily living lasting several months. In the only eligible trial, no effects on cognition were observed. Adverse effects of high-intensity functional exercise were minimal to none.

High-intensity functional exercise is generally safe and is recommended for older individuals with mild or moderate dementia to provide benefits in motor performance and daily functioning.

The effect of an integrated multidisciplinary rehabilitation programme for patients with chronic low back pain: Long-term follow up of a randomised controlled trial.

Clinical Rehabilitation

To compare the long-term effectiveness of an integrated rehabilitation programme with an existing rehabilitation programme, in terms of back-specific disability, in patients with chronic low back pain.

A single-centre, pragmatic, two-arm parallel, randomised controlled trial.

A rheumatology rehabilitation centre in Denmark.

A total of 165 adults (aged ⩾ 18 years) with chronic low back pain.

An integrated programme (a pre-admission day, two weeks at home, two weeks inpatient followed by home-based activities, plus two 2-day inpatient booster sessions, and six-month follow-up visit) was compared with an existing programme (four-week inpatient, and six-month follow-up visit).

The primary outcome was disability measured using the Oswestry Disability Index after one year. Secondary outcomes included pain intensity (Numerical Rating Scale), pain self-efficacy (Pain Self-Efficacy Questionnaire), health-related quality of life (EuroQol-5 Domain 5-level (EQ-5D)), and depression (Major Depression Inventory). Analysis was by intention-to-treat, using linear mixed models.

303 patients were assessed for eligibility of whom 165 patients (mean age 50 years (SD 13) with a mean Oswestry Disability Index score of 42 (SD 11)) were randomly allocated (1:1 ratio) to the integrated programme (n = 82) or the existing programme (n = 83). The mean difference (integrated programme minus existing programme) in disability was -0.53 (95% CI -4.08 to 3.02); p = 0.770). No statistically significant differences were found in the secondary outcomes.

The integrated programme was not more effective in reducing long-term disability in patients with chronic low back pain than the existing programme.

A comparative evaluation of telehealth and direct assessment when screening for spasticity in residents of two long-term care facilities.

Clinical Rehabilitation

To evaluate the performance of telehealth as a screening tool for spasticity compared to direct patient assessment in the long-term care setting.

Cross-sectional, observational study.

Two long-term care facilities: a 140-bed veterans' home and a 44-bed state home for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Sixty-one adult residents of two long-term care facilities (aged 70.1 ± 16.2 years) were included in this analysis. Spasticity was identified in 43% of subjects (Modified Ashworth Scale rating mode = 2). Contributing diagnoses included traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, birth trauma, stroke, cerebral palsy, and multiple sclerosis.

Movement disorders neurologists conducted in-person examinations to determine whether spasticity was present (reference standard) and also evaluated subjects with spasticity using the Modified Ashworth Scale. Telehealth screening examinations, facilitated by a bedside nurse, were conducted remotely by two teleneurologists using a three-question screening tool. Telehealth screening determinations of spasticity were compared to the reference standard determination to calculate sensitivity, specificity, and the area under the curve (AUC) in receiver operating characteristics. Teleneurologist agreement was evaluated using Cohen's kappa.

Teleneurologist 1 had a specificity of 89% and sensitivity of 65% to identify the likely presence of spasticity (n = 61; AUC = 0.770). Teleneurologist 2 showed 100% specificity and 82% sensitivity (n = 16; AUC = 0.909). There was almost perfect agreement between the two examiners at 94% (kappa = 0.875, 95% CI: 0.640-1.000).

Telehealth may provide a useful, efficient method of identifying residents of long-term care facilities that likely need referral for spasticity evaluation.