International Journal of Rehabilitation Research - Most Popular Articles

Reliability and validity of on-road driving tests in vulnerable adults: a systematic review

imageThe on-road driving test is considered a ‘gold standard’ evaluation; however, its validity and reliability have not been sufficiently reviewed. This systematic review aimed to map out and synthesize literature regarding on-road driving tests using the Consensus-based Standards for the Selection of Health Measurement Instruments checklist. Cochrane Library, PubMed, CINAHL, and Web of Science databases were searched from initiation through February 2018. All articles addressing reliability or validity of on-road driving tests involving adult rehabilitation patients were included. The search output identified 513 studies and 36 articles, which were included in the review. The Washington University Road Test/Rhode Island Road Test, performance analysis of driving ability, test ride for investigating practical fitness-to-drive, and K-score demonstrated high reliability and validity in regard to the Consensus-based Standards for the Selection of Health Measurement Instruments checklist. The Washington University Road Test/Rhode Island Road Test and test ride for investigating practical fitness-to-drive were analyzed based on Classical Test Theory techniques, and performance analysis of driving ability and K-score were analyzed based on Item Response Theory techniques. The frequency of studies were Washington University Road Test/Rhode Island Road Test (n=9), Test Ride for Investigating Practical fitness-to-drive (n=8), performance analysis of driving ability (n=4), and K-score (n=1). From the viewpoint of accuracy and generalization, the Washington University Road Test/Rhode Island Road Test, test ride for investigating practical fitness-to-drive, and performance analysis of driving ability were identified as highly qualified concerning on-road driving tests. However, the ability to assess real-world driving depends on various environmental conditions.

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Early body weight-supported overground walking training in patients with stroke in subacute phase compared to conventional physiotherapy: a randomized controlled pilot study

imageAmong the new rehabilitation strategies aimed at improving independent walking after stroke, the body weight-support training allows an early and controlled ambulatory training. To date, most available studies are based on treadmill body weight-support (BWS) training and involve patients with chronic stroke sequelae. In contrast, the effects of a BWS training performed on the ground in patients with subacute hemiparesis (stroke within 4 weeks), with significant gait deficiencies, is unknown. The primary aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of a rehabilitative program that combines conventional approach with an early overground body weight-support training, in terms of recovery of independent walking focussing on patients with subacute stroke. The secondary aim was to evaluate the impact of body weight-support also on functional mobility, overall disability, and gait endurance. A total of 37 participants were enrolled and randomized to experimental group or control group for the baseline evaluations. In the experimental group, body weight-supported overground walking was added to conventional physiotherapy for 4 weeks. The outcome measurements used were: Functional Ambulation Classification (FAC), Rivermead Mobility Index, Barthel Index, and the 6-minute Walk Test. At the evaluation 1 week after the end of the intervention period, experimental group reached a statistically significant increase of independent walking as detected by FAC (experimental group: 3 vs. control group: 2, P < 0.01). No differences were observed by the other evaluation outcome measures. We conclude that BWS training may be more effective than conventional therapy alone in improving walking autonomy in persons with subacute stroke.

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Effect of arm cycling and task-oriented exercises on fatigue and upper limb performance in multiple sclerosis: a randomized crossover study

imageRehabilitation treatments have been proven to be a viable way to reduce fatigue and upper limb impairments in people with multiple sclerosis (PwMS). Our aim was to examine which treatment has better short-term and carryover effects on fatigue and manual dexterity in multiple sclerosis population. Twenty PwMS participated in a 16-week randomized crossover study composed of 20 sessions. The participants were divided into two groups (group A and group B). Sessions containing combined arm cycling and task-oriented exercises were administered by a physical therapist in hospital setting. Each group received 20 sessions of aerobic training and task-oriented exercises and then an 8-week rest period or vice versa with group A receiving sessions first. Fatigue was assessed by using the Modified Fatigue Impact Scale (MFIS) and Motor Fatigability Index (MFI), which was assessed using an engineered glove during a fatiguing finger tapping task. To measure manual dexterity, the nine hole peg test (NHPT) and a rate of tapping at maximum velocity task (RATE-MV) were utilized. Treatment effects were assessed by t-test or Mann–Whitney test at the end of both periods checking for carryover effects. After treatment the combined (Groups A and B) between-period differences were MFIS: 5.2 (10.7) points, P = 0.05; MFI: −0.007 (<0.001)Hz/s, P = 0.05 and RATE-MV: 0.2 (0.4) Hz/s, P = 0.05 in favor of the treatment period. No statistically significant between-period differences were found for the NHPT: 3.6 (25.0) s, P = 0.63. No carryover effects (P > 0.05) were observed. In conclusion, sessions of arm cycling and tailored task-oriented exercises have shown to be a viable resource for treating manual dexterity and fatigue in PwMS.

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