Following a stroke many people struggle with reduced hand and arm function which impacts on their ability to do day to day activities. There are many different treatment approaches available to try and help. This includes the use of ‘electromechanical assisted devices that are commonly referred to as robotics. MOTIONrehab have two upper limb robots, the Tyromotion Amadeo and Deigo in the intensive rehabilitation centre in Leeds to assist with upper limb rehabilitation. But do they work?
In September 2018, the Cochrane Review (a medical journal that considers all of the research studies conducted and aims to summarise research findings) conducted an update of the studies performed to look at electromechanical and robot‐assisted arm training.
The findings indicated that;
- More than two‐thirds of people who have had a stroke have difficulties with reduced arm function
- Electromechanical and robot‐assisted arm training might help by using specialised machines to support shoulder, elbow and hand movements
- On average, electromechanical and robot‐assisted arm training improves daily living for people after stroke, and improves the function and muscle strength of the affected arm
- Adverse events, such as injuries and pain, were seldom described
- It seem reasonable to include these devices in the rehabilitation of patients after a stroke
- There is still some uncertainty about when and how often they should be used
“In summary, people who receive electromechanical and robot‐assisted arm training after a stroke might improve their activities of daily living, arm function, and arm muscle strength. The quality of the evidence was high. However, we still need to be cautious because the benefits are small and there were substantial differences between the trials in the intensity, duration, and amount of training; and the types of treatment, participants and outcomes measurements used.”
Click the link below to listen to the Cochrane Podcast also available from: https://www.cochranelibrary.com/about/podcasts