2013 Volume 25 Issue 5 Pages 611-614
[Purpose] This study examined the effects of action observation and action practice on stroke patients’ upper limb function. [Subjects and Methods] The subjects were 33 chronic stroke patients who were randomly assigned to four groups. The action observation group (5 males, 3 females) watched a video of the task, the action practice group (5 males, 4 females) performed the action, the combined action observation-action practice group (5 males, 4 females) watched the video of the task and practiced the action, and the control group (4 males, 3 females) did not perform either action observation or action practice. The video used in the action observational physical training comprised a scene of an adult male picking up a cup, bringing it to his mouth in order to touch his mouth, and then returning the cup to its initial position. [Results] Improvements in drinking behavior functions were observed immediately after the experiment and one week later. After the intervention, the number of drinking motions had increased the most in the combination group. One week after the experiment, there were increases in the action observation, action training, and combination groups. [Conclusion] A combination of action observation and action training is the most effective treatment method, and action training is a desirable second to combined therapy.