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A Pneumatic Glove and Immersive Virtual Reality Environment for Hand Rehabilitative Training After Stroke

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6 Author(s)
Lauri Connelly ; Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA ; Yicheng Jia ; Maria L. Toro ; Mary Ellen Stoykov
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While a number of devices have recently been developed to facilitate hand rehabilitation after stroke, most place some restrictions on movement of the digits or arm. Thus, a novel glove was developed which can provide independent extension assistance to each digit while still allowing full arm movement. This pneumatic glove, the PneuGlove, can be used for training grasp-and-release movements either with real objects or with virtual objects in a virtual reality environment. Two groups of stroke survivors, with seven subjects in each group, completed a six-week rehabilitation training protocol, consisting of three 1-h sessions held each week. One group wore the PneuGlove during training, performed both within a novel virtual reality environment and outside of it with physical objects, while the other group completed the same training without the device. Across subjects, significant improvements were observed in the Fugl-Meyer Assessment for the upper extremity ( p<;;0.001), the hand/wrist portion of the Fugl-Meyer Assessment ( p<;;0.001), the Box and Blocks test ( p<;;0.05), and palmar pinch strength ( p<;;0.05). While changes in the two groups were not statistically different, the group using the PneuGlove did show greater mean improvement on each of these measures, such as gains of 3.7 versus 2.4 points on the hand/wrist portion of the Fugl-Meyer Assessment and 14 N versus 5 N in palmar pinch.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering  (Volume:18 ,  Issue: 5 )