Number of repetitions versus duration in hours as dose measures of task practice during constraint-induced movement therapy: A pilot randomized controlled trial

Background: Constraint-induced movement therapy (CIMT) is used in rehabilitation of the upper limbs after stroke. However, its protocol, especially the issue of doses, seems not clear as duration of task practice in hours is used as a measure of dose.
Background: The aim of this study is to compare the use of number of repetitions of task practice (sCIMT) and duration in hours (tCIMT) as dose measures during CIMT in chronic stroke patients.
Methods: The sCIMT group performed the same 8 functional tasks 20 times, 2 times a day, 5 times a week for 6 weeks with the affected upper limb. The unaffected upper limb was constrained in an arm sling for 90% of the waking hours during the period of the intervention. The tCIMT group performed 2 hours of task practice (8 tasks) convenient for them with the affected upper limb and constraint of the unaffected upper limb for 5 hours a day, 5 days a week for 6 weeks. The study data were collected using the Wolf motor function test (WMFT) at baseline, 2, 4 and 6 weeks post-intervention. The data were analyzed using the repeated measures ANOVA, independent t-test, and ANCOVA at p<0.05.
Results: The results showed significant differences (p<0.05) in WMFT functional ability between baseline, and 2, 4 and 6 weeks post-intervention in the sCIMT group. However, there were no significant differences (p>0.05) between sCIMT and tCIMT in WMFT functional ability and performance time at baseline, and 2, 4 and 6 weeks post-intervention.
Conclusion: sCIMT is effective and comparable to tCIMT. Moreover, its protocol seems clearer, simpler and more practicable.

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Vincent Pol University in Lublin