Real-time video enhances post-stroke therapy, researchers say

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Therapists in skilled nursing facilities might help stroke survivors achieve faster progress by incorporating real-time video in sessions, suggests recently published research.

The trial involved 19 people who were experiencing weakness or paralysis in one side of the body due to stroke. Over a six-week period, a control group took part in therapy three times a week for 30 minutes. An experimental group did the same amount of therapy, but with a real-time video component. This involved a computer program that took the video and provided real-time feedback on how the body was performing the therapy activities.

Prior to the six-week trial, the control group outperformed the experimental group on gait velocity, stride length and “timed up and go” tests. By the end of the trial, the experimental group showed “significantly greater improvement” in these areas, the researchers found.

"Despite the small number of patients studied, the results clearly demonstrated that real-time feedback enhanced the results achieved through core stabilization exercise training because patients gained a better understanding of the movements as they were performing them,” said co-author Byoung-Hee Lee, Ph.D., PT, of Sahmyook University in South Korea.

Findings appear in Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience.

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