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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Post-fracture rehabilitation pathways and association with mortality among adults with cerebral palsy.

Clinical Rehabilitation

Rehabilitation may mitigate the high mortality rates and health declines post-fracture for adults with cerebral palsy, but this is understudied. The objectives were to characterize the post-fracture rehabilitation pathways and identify their association with 1-year survival among adults with cerebral palsy.

A retrospective cohort study of adults with cerebral palsy with a fragility fracture with continuous health plan enrollment ≥1-year prior to and ≥1 day after their fracture date was performed using a random 20% Medicare fee-for-service dataset. Participants were categorized as a home discharge or inpatient rehabilitation admission post-fracture. For the home discharge cohort, weekly exposure to outpatient physical/occupational therapy (PT/OT) was examined up to 6-month post-fracture. Cox regression examined the association between time-varying PT/OTuse within 6-month post-fracture and mortality from 30 days to 1-year post-fracture before and after adjusting for confounders (e.g. medical complexity).

Of 3598 adults with cerebral palsy with an incident fragility fracture, 74% were discharged home without inpatient rehabilitation; they were younger, but more medically complex compared to the 26% admitted to inpatient rehabilitation. Among the home discharge cohort (n = 2662), 43.1% initiated PT/OTwithin 6-month post-fracture, and cumulative PT/OTexposure post-fracture was associated with improved survival; for example, per 3 weeks of PT/OTexposure, the adjusted mortality rate was 40% lower (95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.41-0.89).

Most adults with cerebral palsy with a fragility fracture were discharged home rather than to inpatient rehabilitation, and only 43.1% of that group initiated outpatient PT/OTwithin 6 months post-fracture. Receiving outpatient PT/OTwas associated with improved 1-year survival.

Structural Changes in the Arcuate Fasciculus and Recovery of Post-stroke Aphasia: A 6-Month Follow-up Study using Diffusion Tensor Imaging.

Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair

Temporal changes in the structural connectivity of major language tracts after stroke and their contribution to aphasia recovery are unclear.

To investigate longitudinal arcuate fasciculus (AF) integrity changes and their relationship with post-stroke aphasia recovery using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI).

Thirty-five patients with aphasia due to first-ever left hemispheric stroke underwent the Korean version of the Western Aphasia Battery and DTI at 1- and 6-month post stroke onset. Fractional anisotropy (FA), mean diffusivity (MD), radial diffusivity (RD), and axial diffusivity (AD) of both AF tracts were analyzed to evaluate the temporal changes in tract integrity and determine the correlation between changes (Δ; follow-up - initial) in DTI parameters and language scores.

At 6 months post-stroke, the mean FA decreased, and mean MD and RD increased in both hemispheres; however, compared with mean AD observed after 1 month, the mean observed at 6 months increased only in the left hemisphere (P < .05). ΔFA of the left AF and proportional change in the aphasia quotient showed a significant positive correlation (r = 0.365, P = .031). No correlation was found between changes in the right AF parameters and language score. The group with increased FA in the left AF showed more significant language improvement than the group with decreased FA.

During the subacute stage, the integrity of AF decreased in both hemispheres in patients with aphasia, and the change in structural connectivity of the left AF was associated with language improvement.

Effects of Different Montages of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation on Haemodynamic Responses and Motor Performance In Acute Stroke: A Randomized Controlled Trial.

Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine

Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) has shown positive results in neurorehabilitation. However, there is limited evidence on its use in acute stroke, and unclear evidence regarding the best tDCS montage (anodal-, cathodal-, or dualtDCS) for stroke recovery. This study investigated the effects of these montages combined with physical therapy on haemodynamic response and motor performance.

Eighty-two eligible acute stroke participants were allocated randomly into anodal, cathodal, dual, and sham groups. They received 5 consecutive sessions of tDCS combined with physical therapy for 5 days. Cerebral mean blood flow velocity (MFV) and motor outcomes were assessed pre- and post-intervention and at a 1-month follow-up.

None of the groups showed significant changes in the MFV in the lesioned or non-lesioned hemispheres immediately post- intervention or at a 1-month follow-up. For motor performance, all outcomes improved over time for all groups; between-group comparisons showed that the dual-tDCS group had significantly greater improvement than the other groups for most of the lower-limb performance measures. All 5-day tDCS montages were safe.

MFV was not modulated following active or sham groups. However, dual-tDCS was more efficient in improving motor performance than other groups, especially for lower-limb performance, with after-effects lasting at least 1 month.

Home-based is as effective as centre-based rehabilitation for improving upper limb motor recovery and activity limitations after stroke: A systematic review with meta-analysis.

Clinical Rehabilitation

This systematic review aimed to examine the effects of home-based exercises in comparison with centre-based exercises for improving the paretic upper limb after stroke.

Only randomized clinical trials were included. Participants in the reviewed studies were adults at any time after stroke. The experimental intervention was home-based exercises compared with centre-based exercises. Outcome data related to strength, motor recovery, dexterity, activity, and participation were extracted from the eligible trials and combined in meta-analyses. The quality of included trials was assessed by the PEDro scores. The quality of evidence was determined according to the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE) system.

Eight trials, involving 488 participants, were included. Most trials (63%) delivered semi-supervised interventions (amount of supervision 3-43%), and three trials provided full supervision. Random-effects meta-analyses provided moderate- to high-quality evidence that home- and centre-based exercises provide similar effects on motor recovery (MD 1.4 points; 95% CI -0.9 to 3.8), dexterity (MD -0.01 pegs/s; 95% CI -0.04 to 0.05), upper limb activity performance (SMD -0.04; 95% CI -0.25 to 0.18), and quality of movement (0.1 points; 95% CI -0.2 to 0.4). Effects on strength were also similar but the quality of the evidence was rated as low. No trials examined effects on participation.

Effects of home-based prescribed exercises on upper limb motor recovery, dexterity, and activity are likely to be similar to improvements obtained by centre-based exercises after stroke.

Facilitators and barriers to patient-centred goal-setting in rehabilitation: A scoping review.

Clinical Rehabilitation

Identify, map, and synthesize existing reviews, to extract and analyse the most prominent barriers and facilitators to applying patient-centred goal-setting practice in rehabilitation using the Capability, Opportunity Motivation Behaviour (COM-B) model.

All types of review (systematic, scoping, and narrative) studies published up to June 14, 2022 that included physical and neurological rehabilitation, patient-centeredness, and goal-setting were reviewed. Studies were scrutinized for relevance, quality was not assessed. The most prominent barriers and facilitators were synthesized using thematic content analysis and mapped onto the COM-B model.

Twenty-six review studies covering a range of conditions and settings, acute to community were included. Barrier and facilitators were identified at patient, provider, and organizational level. Barrier themes include provider's existing beliefs about goal-setting, lack of skills, and integration into clinical routines. Patient barriers related to capacity and opportunity to participate. Organizational barriers include lack of clinical guidelines, patient preparation, insufficient provider time, and high productivity expectations. Facilitators included goal-setting guidelines, training and education of providers and patients, revised clinical routines, performance monitoring, adequate time, and resources.

Healthcare providers should be the primary target of intervention. A provider's motivation to change current practice is the most prominent barrier, followed closely by capacity and opportunity. Patients require information, training, and structured engagement opportunities. Organizations play a key role in creating the optimal environmental conditions to enable patient-centred goal-setting.

Feasibility and Safety of Active Physiotherapy in the Intensive Care Unit for Intubated Patients with Malignancy.

Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine

Physiotherapy leads to improvements in critically ill patients who receive mechanical ventilation. However, cancer patients have not been included in previous studies on this subject. This study explored the feasibility and safety of physiotherapy in the intensive care unit for patients with malignancy.

The main outcome was the proportion of physiotherapy sessions at the prescribed level in each group.

A total of 60 patients were included within 1 year. A total of 576 days were screened for physiotherapy sessions and 367 physiotherapy-days were analysed (137 days for control patients and 230 days for cancer patients). The ratio of physiotherapy sessions performed/prescribed did not differ between groups: 0.78 (0.47-1) in the control group vs 0.69 (0.6-1) in the cancer group (odds ratio 1.18 (IC95% 0.74-1.89); p = 0.23). A sensitivity analysis including patient effect as random variable confirmed those results (odds ratio 1.16 (0.56-2.38), p = 0.69). Adverse events occurred with the same frequency in cancer patients and non-cancer patients.

Physiotherapy in cancer patients who require intubation is feasible and safe. However, only two-thirds of prescribed physiotherapy sessions were performed. Studies are warranted to explore the barriers to physiotherapy in the intensive care unit setting.

Elbow flexion contractures in neonatal brachial plexus palsy: A one-year comparison of dynamic orthosis and serial casting.

Clinical Rehabilitation

Elbow flexion contractures are common complications of neonatal brachial plexus palsy, but evidence on how to treat these contractures is weak. This study compared the treatment of elbow flexion contractures using a dynamic orthosis or serial circular casting.

A randomized controlled trial was conducted with one-year follow-up. Children with an elbow flexion contracture of ≥30° were treated with either a night-worn dynamic orthosis for one year or serial casting for four weeks followed by night splinting. For pragmatic reasons, some participants were included in an open part of this study, this group was also analyzed separately. Degree of contracture and goal attainment scaling was evaluated at baseline and after 8, 20 and 54 weeks.

55 patients were analyzed in this trial, 32 of whom were randomized to treatment. At one-year follow-up of the randomized group, both dynamic splinting (median -8.5°, interquartile range [IQR] -13.5, -5) and serial casting (median -11.0°, IQR -16, -5) resulted in significant reduction of contracture (P < 0.001). The reduction was significantly greater with serial casting in the first 20 weeks, but not at one-year follow-up (P = 0.683). In the entire cohort, the individual functional goals had been reached in 24 out of 32 cases (80%) of dynamic splinting and 18 out of 23 cases (82%) of serial casting, respectively.

The dynamic night orthosis is comparable to serial casting for treating elbow flexion contractures in children with brachial plexus birth injury. We recommend selecting one of these treatment modalities in close consultation with parents and patients.

Increasing the Amount and Intensity of Stepping Training During Inpatient Stroke Rehabilitation Improves Locomotor and Non-Locomotor Outcomes.

Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair

The efficacy of traditional rehabilitation interventions to improve locomotion post-stroke, including providing multiple exercises targeting impairments and activity limitations, is uncertain. Emerging evidence rather suggests attempts to prioritize stepping practice at higher cardiovascular intensities may facilitate greater locomotor outcomes.

The present study was designed to evaluate the comparative effectiveness of high-intensity training (HIT) to usual care during inpatient rehabilitation post-stroke.

Changes in stepping activity and functional outcomes were compared over 9 months during usual-care (n = 131 patients < 2 months post-stroke), during an 18-month transition phase with attempts to implement HIT (n = 317), and over 12 months following HIT implementation (n = 208). The transition phase began with didactic and hands-on education, and continued with meetings, mentoring, and audit and feedback. Fidelity metrics included percentage of sessions prioritizing gait interventions and documenting intensity. Demographics, training measures, and outcomes were compared across phases using linear or logistic regression analysis, Kruskal-Wallis tests, or χ2 analysis.

Across all phases, admission scores were similar except for balance (usual-care>HIT; P < .02). Efforts to prioritize stepping and achieve targeted intensities during HIT vs transition or usual-care phases led to increased steps/day (P < .01). During HIT, gains in 10-m walk [HIT median = 0.13 m/s (interquartile range: 0-0.35) vs usual-care = 0.07 m/s (0-0.24), P = .01] and 6-min walk [50 (9.3-116) vs 2.1 (0-56) m, P < .01] were observed, with additional improvements in transfers and stair-climbing.

Greater efforts to prioritize walking and reach higher intensities during HIT led to increased steps/day, resulting in greater gains in locomotor and non-locomotor outcomes.

Effects of a Cognitively Challenging Agility Boot Camp Program on Balance and Gait in People With Parkinson's Disease: Does Freezing of Gait Status Matter?

Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair

Individuals with Parkinson's disease (PD) with and without freezing of Gait (FoG) may respond differently to exercise interventions for several reasons, including disease duration. This study aimed to determine whether both people with and without FoG benefit from the Agility Boot Camp with Cognitive Challenges (ABC-C) program.

This secondary analysis of our ABC-C trial included 86 PD subjects: 44 without FoG (PD-FoG) and 42 with FoG (PD + FoG). We collected measures of standing sway balance, anticipatory postural adjustments, postural responses, and a 2-minute walk with and without a cognitive task. Two-way repeated analysis of variance, with disease duration as covariate, was used to investigate the effects of ABC-C program. Effect sizes were calculated using standardized response mean (SRM) for PD-FoG and PD + FoG, separately.

The ABC-C program was effective in improving gait performance in both PD-FoG and PD + FoG, even after controlling for disease duration. Specifically, dual-task gait speed (P < .0001), dual-cost stride length (P = .012), and these single-task measures: arm range of motion (P < .0001), toe-off angle (P = .005), gait cycle duration variability (P = .019), trunk coronal range of motion (P = .042), and stance time (P = .046) improved in both PD-FoG and PD + FoG. There was no interaction effect between time (before and after exercise) and group (PD-FoG/PD + FoG) in all 24 objective measures of balance and gait. Dual-task gait speed improved the most in PD + FoG (SRM = 1.01), whereas single-task arm range of motion improved the most in PD-FoG (SRM = 1.01).

The ABC-C program was similarly effective in improving gait (and not balance) performance in both PD-FoG and PD + FoG.

Balance Training Modulates Cortical Inhibition in Individuals with Parkinson's Disease: A Randomized Controlled Trial.

Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair

Most individuals with Parkinson's disease (PD) develop balance dysfunction. Previous studies showed that individuals with PD have abnormal corticomotor changes related to severity of motor symptoms and disease progression. Cortical disinhibition was observed in PD and this alteration can be an early sign of PD. Balance training seems to be an effective intervention to improve balance in individuals with PD. However, it is not much known about the effect of balance training on cortical neuroplasticity in PD population.

To investigate the effects of balance training on corticomotor excitability in individuals with PD.

Twenty-eight PD participants were recruited and randomly assigned to either the balance training (BT) or the control (CON) group. Both groups underwent 16 training sessions over 8 weeks. Outcome measures for corticomotor inhibition included the cortical silent period (CSP) and short-interval intracortical inhibition (SICI) on transcranial magnetic stimulation. Balance performance was measured using the Mini-Balance Evaluation Systems Test (Mini-BEST) and the Timed Up and Go (TUG) test.

Participants in the BT group showed a significant increase in corticomotor inhibition (CSP: P = .028, SICI: P = .04) and a significant improvement in balance performance (Mini-BEST: P = .001, TUG: P = .04) after training. Compared to the CON group, the BT group showed a greater increase in corticomotor inhibition (CSP: P = .017, SICI: P = .046) and better improvement in balance (Mini-BEST: P = .046).

Balance training could modulate corticomotor inhibition in the primary motor cortex and improve balance performance in individuals with PD.

The Impact of Cognitive Impairment on Robot-Based Upper-Limb Motor Assessment in Chronic Stroke.

Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair

Chronic upper extremity motor deficits are present in up to 65% of stroke survivors, and cognitive impairment is prevalent in 46-61% of stroke survivors even 10 years after their stroke. Robot-assisted therapy programs tend to focus on motor recovery and do not include stroke patients with cognitive impairment.

This study aims to investigate performance on the individual cognitive domains evaluated in the MoCA and their relation to upper-limb motor performance on a robotic system.

Participants were recruited from the stroke population with a wide range of cognitive and motor levels to complete a trajectory tracking task using the Haptic TheraDrive rehabilitation robot system. Motor performance was evaluated against standard clinical cognitive and motor assessments. Our hypothesis is that the cognitive domains involved in the visuomotor tracking task are significant predictors of performance on the robot-based task and that impairment in these domains results in worse motor performance on the task compared to subjects with no cognitive impairment.

Our results support the hypothesis that visuospatial and executive function have a significant impact on motor performance, with differences emerging between different functional groups on the various robot-based metrics. We also show that the kinematic metrics from this task differentiate cognitive-motor functional groups differently.

This study demonstrates that performance on a motor-based robotic assessment task also involves a significant visuospatial and executive function component and highlights the need to account for cognitive impairment in the assessment of motor performance.

The Reaching Phase of Feeding and Self-Care Actions Optimizes Action Observation Effects in Chronic Stroke Subjects.

Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair

The Action Observation Therapy (AOT) is a well-established post-stroke rehabilitation treatment based on the theoretical framework of the Mirror Neuron System (MNS) activation. However, AOT protocols are still heterogeneous in terms of video contents of observed actions.

The aim of this study was to analyze electroencephalographic (EEG) recordings in stroke patients during the observation of different videos of task-specific upper limb movements, and to define which category of actions can elicit a stronger cortical activation in the observer's brain.

Signals were analyzed from 19 chronic stroke subjects observing customized videos that represented 3 different categories of upper limb actions: Finalized Actions, Non-Finalized Actions, and Control Videos. The Event-Related Desynchronization in the µ and β bands was chosen to identify the involvement of the cerebral cortex: the area of the normalized power spectral density was calculated for each category and, deepening, for the reaching and completion sub-phases of Finalized Actions. For descriptive purposes, the time course of averaged signal power was described. The Kruskal-Wallis test (P < .05) was applied.

The analysis showed a greater desynchronization when subjects observed Finalized Actions with respect to Non-Finalized in all recorded areas; Control videos provoked a synchronization in the same areas and frequency bands. The reaching phase of feeding and self-care actions evoked a greater suppression both in µ and β bands.

The observation of finalized arm movements seems to elicit the strongest activation of the MNS in chronic stroke patients. This finding may help the clinicians to design future AOT-based stroke rehabilitation protocols.

Clinical Trial Registration-URL: Unique identifier: NCT04047134.