[Purpose] The aim of this study was to determine the appropriate pressure variation for performing a successful abdominal drawing-in maneuver (ADIM). The abdominal muscle thickness variations and contraction ratios were examined in relation to pressure variations using a Pressure Biofeedback Unit (PBU) during an ADIM in the supine position. [Methods] The PBU was placed identically between the lumbar lordosis of 20 healthy subjects (12 males and 8 females) and the pressure of the PBU was maintained at 40 mmHg. Then, while the subjects performed ADIM at four random pressure variations (0, 2, 4, or 6 mmHg), the thicknesses of the transversus abdominis (TrA), the internal oblique abdominal muscle (IO), and the external oblique abdominal muscle (EO) were measured using ultrasonography. [Results] Pressure increases of 0–2 mmHg resulted in significant decreases in IO and EO thicknesses compared to pressure increases of 6 mmHg. Increases of 0–2 mmHg also resulted in significant decreases in IO+EO and EO contraction ratios compared to pressure increases of 6 mmHg, while the preferential activation ratio of the TrA was significantly increased. [Conclusion] Compared to the other pressure increases, an increase of 0–2 mmHg effectively regulated the thicknesses and contraction ratios of superficial muscles such as IO and EO, rather than the thickness and contraction ratio of the TrA, showing high and indirect preferential activation ratios for TrA. Therefore, for successful ADIM, rather than using large PBU pressure increases, exercises that promote slight increases of around 0–2 mmHg from a baseline of 40 mmHg are desirable.
[Purpose] This study determined the difference between flat feet and normal feet of humans at different gait velocities using electromyography (EMG) and foot pressure analysis. [Subjects] This study was conducted on 30 adults having normal feet (N = 15) and flat feet (N = 15), all of whom were 21 to 30 years old and had no neurological history or gait problems. [Methods] A treadmill (AC5000M, SCIFIT, UK) was used to analyze kinematic features during gait. These features were analyzed at slow, normal, and fast gait velocities. A surface electromyogram (TeleMyo 2400T, Noraxon Co., USA) and a foot pressure analyzer (FSA, Vista Medical, Canada) were used to measure muscle activity changes and foot pressure, respectively. [Results] The activities of most muscles of the flat feet, except that of the rectus femoris, were significantly different from the muscle activities of the normal feet at different gait velocities. For example, there was a significant difference in the vastus medialis and abductor hallucis muscle. Likewise, flat feet and normal feet showed significant differences in pressures on the forefoot, midfoot, and medial area of the hindfoot at different gait velocities. Finally, comparison showed there were significant differences in pressures on the 2nd–3rd metatarsal area. [Conclusion] Because muscle activation has a tendency to increase with an increase in gait velocity, we hypothesized that the lower extremity with a flat foot requires more work to move due to the lack of a medial longitudinal arch, and consequently pressure was focused on the 2nd–3rd metatarsal area during the stance phase.
[Purpose] The purpose of this study was to compare the hamstring muscle (HAM) activities and flexion-relaxation ratios of an asymptomatic group and a computer work-related low back pain (LBP) group. [Subjects] For this study, we recruited 10 asymptomatic computer workers and 10 computer workers with work-related LBP. [Methods] We measured the RMS activity of each phase (flexion, full-flexion, and re-extension phase) of trunk flexion and calculated the flexion-relaxation (FR) ratio of the muscle activities of the flexion and full-flexion phases. [Results] In the computer work-related LBP group, the HAM muscle activity increased during the full-flexion phase compared to the asymptomatic group, and the FR ration was also significantly higher. [Conclusion] We thought that prolonged sitting of computer workers might cause the change in their HAM muscle activity pattern.
[Purpose] The purpose of present study was to develop an exercise device for assisting neck retraction exercise and to investigate its effectiveness. [Subjects] Fifteen male subjects were recruited. [Methods] The subjects performed the neck retraction exercises with and without assistive device for neck retraction (ANR). EMG activities of the lower cervical erector spinae (LCE), and sternocleidomatoid (SCM) muscles were recorded. [Results] The ANR condition significantly increased LCE activation compared to the control condition. The ANR condition significantly decreased SCM activation compared to the control condition. [Conclusion] We suggest that the ANR condition will help the efficacy of the neck retraction exercise.
[Purpose] We compared ankle temporal motor coordination between stroke, spinal disease and healthy elderly groups, and investigated the relationship between motor impairments and gait speed. [Subjects] Twenty-four patients with stroke, 19 post-operative spinal disease patients and 17 healthy elderly subjects participated. [Methods] Ankle temporal motor coordination of the three groups was assessed using the simple reaction time, the foot-tapping test, and a rhythm task. Rhythm error and rhythm variation were analyzed using the results of the rhythm task. Isometric muscle strength, spasticity, muscle stiffness, somatosensory and 10-m gait speed of the stroke and spinal disease subjects were also measured. [Results] Only the stroke group showed significant reductions in temporal accuracy and consistency in the rhythm task. Simple reaction time and the rhythm task were significantly poorer in the stroke group, whereas the foot-tapping test was not. Stepwise multiple regression analysis indicated gait speed was explained by rhythm error and plantarflexor strength in the stroke group, and rhythm error and simple reaction time in the spinal disease group. [Conclusion] Poor performance in simple reaction time and the rhythm task in the stroke group suggest these tasks are controlled by the supraspinal central nervous system. Negative features, particularly motor coordination, are more associated with gait speed than positive features.
[Purpose] The world of competitive sports has its own unique subculture which at times works towards covering up psychological problems faced by athletes with injuries. The purpose of this study was to develop an “Athletic Injury Psychological Acceptance Scale (AIPAS)” to screen athletes for serious psychological problems resulting from injury. [Subjects] A total of 189 subjects responded to the survey, of which 168 (mean age= 19.93 years; average number of days unable to participate in sports= 71.84 days, SD = 88.01 days) valid responses were subjected to analysis. [Methods] A provisional version of the AIPAS was created from question items based on face-to-face subject interviews and content validity testing by specialists. In order to test criterion-related validity of the AIPAS, subjects were asked to complete indices that would serve as an external criterion. For this purpose, indices that measure athletic rehabilitation dedication and time perspective were designed. [Results] Item analysis of the provisional AIPAS was conducted to confirm the discrimination of each item. Exploratory factor analysis identified “Self-motivation” and “Focus on the Present” as two factors of the provisional scale. Confirmatory factor analysis supported these results. The Cronbach’s alpha was used to measure the internal consistency. Since α=0.81, the reliability of the scale was confirmed. A significant correlation was found between AIPAS and external indices, indicating criterion-related validity. [Conclusion] AIPAS is a reliable and valid scale composed of two subscales.
[Purpose] In the present study, we investigated the effect of antecedent exercise on functional recovery and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) expression following focal cerebral ischemia injury. [Subjects] The rat middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) model was employed. Adult male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into 4 groups. Group I included untreated normal rats (n=10); Group II included untreated rats with focal cerebral ischemia (n=10); Group III included rats that performed treadmill exercise (20 m/min) training after focal cerebral ischemia (n=10); and Group IV included rats that performed antecedent treadmill exercise (20 m/min) training before focal cerebral ischemia (n=10) as well as treadmill exercise after ischemia. At different time points (1, 7, 14, and 21 days) Garcia’s score, and the hippocampal expressions level of BDNF were examined. [Results] In the antecedent exercise group, improvements in the motor behavior index (Garcia’s score) were observed and hippocampal BDNF protein expression levels increased. [Conclusion] These results indicate that antecedent treadmill exercise, before permanent brain ischemia exerts a neuroprotective effect against ischemia brain injury by improving motor performance and increasing the level of BDNF expression. Furthermore, the antecedent treadmill exercise of appropriate intensity is critical for post-stroke rehabilitation.
[Purpose] To study the recovery of patients treated with minimally invasive total knee arthroplasty (TKA) performed via the subvastus approach, and to develop an optimal rehabilitation program for these patients. [Methods] Twenty-two patients (17 females and 5 males; mean age 69.2 years), who received unilateral minimally invasive TKA for osteoarthritis, underwent isometric and isokinetic muscle testing and completed a quality of life questionnaire, the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC), before and after surgery. Muscle strength and ultrasound tests were repeated 1, 2, 6, and 12 months after surgery. [Results] Strength and range of motion were initially lower in the operated knees but demonstrated no significant difference from the healthy knees after 12 months. Sonographically, joint effusion was greater in the osteoarthritic knees than in the healthy knees at baseline, but no significant difference was observed after 12 months. The mean WOMAC pain, stiffness and function scores all decreased from baseline to 6 months, and then slightly increased at 12 months, but only the function score showed a significant difference compared to baseline. [Conclusions] One year after minimally invasive TKA using a subvastus approach, patients had a good overall prognosis, with prompt functional recovery.
[Purpose] This study examined differences in neck muscle activity in two different head positions during tackles with the aim of contributing to the prevention of sports injuries. [Subjects] The subjects were 28 male high-school rugby players. [Methods] Two tackle positions were considered: a head-up position and a head-down position. Muscle activities of the sternocleidomastoid muscles and the upper, middle, and lower parts of the trapezius muscles were measured. [Results] Muscle activities of the sternocleidomastoid muscles and the right upper trapezius muscle were significantly increased in the head-up position, and the activity of the lower trapezius was significantly increased in the head-down position. [Conclusion] Tackling with the head-up position increases neck muscle activity and stability of the head and the neck.
[Purpose] Previous studies have reported on motor deficits in the ipsilateral upper limbs (UL) of a damaged brain hemisphere in motor tasks. However, little is known about sensory deficits on the ipsilateral side. Therefore, we investigated whether both motor and sensory function of the ipsilateral UL are affected in patients with stroke. [Subjects and Methods] Fifty patients with unilateral stroke and 40 age- and sex- matched normal subjects participated in this study. Subjects were evaluated on performance of a tracking task for motor function, and by the joint reposition test for integrity of proprioceptive sense in the ipsilateral UL. [Result] The comparison of the stroke group and the control group showed significant differences in performance of the tracking task and the joint reposition test. The accuracy index for the tracking task showed significant correlation with the error score for the joint reposition test in the stroke group. [Conclusion] These results suggest that the ipsilateral UL of stroke patients has impairment in sensory function which is related to proprioceptive sense, along with motor deficits. Therefore, we think that the difficulty stroke patients experience with motor tasks for the ipsilateral UL is induced by diminished integrity of sensorimotor function due to both sensory and motor deficits.
[Purpose] This study examined the effects of deep flexor muscle-strengthening exercise on the neck–shoulder posture, and the strength and endurance of the deep flexor muscles of high-school students. [Subjects] The subjects were 30 seventeen-year-old female high-school students who complained about bad posture and chronic neck–shoulder pain. They were randomly divided into an experimental group of 15 subjects, who performed a deep flexor muscle-strengthening exercise and a control group of 15 subjects, who performed a basic stretching exercise. [Methods] The experimental group of 15 subjects performed a deep flexor muscle-strengthening exercise consisting of low-load training of the cranio-cervical flexor muscle, and the control group of 15 subjects performed a basic stretching exercise consisting of seven motions. [Results] The experimental group showed statistically significant changes in head tilt angle, neck flexion angle, forward shoulder angle, and the result of the cranio-cervical flexion test after the training. In contrast, the control group showed no statistically significant changes in these measures following the training. When the results of the groups were compared, statistically significant differences were found for all items between the experimental group and the control group. [Conclusion] Strengthening cranio-cervical flexor muscles is important for the adjustment of neck posture, and maintaining their stability is required to improve neck-shoulder posture.
[Purpose] A virtual environment (VE) system was designed to facilitate the retraining of motor control by feedback of movement trajectory to patients with neurological impairments, such as stroke victims or those with an acquired brain injury. In this study, we quantitatively assessed motion trajectory of the upper extremity during VE in order to further understand the effect of paralyzed upper extremity movement in VE for each patient as well as the functional clinical evaluations. [Subjects and Methods] Six patients with stroke were participated in this study. The VE system consisted of a computer, an electromagnetic motion tracking device, which monitored and displayed patient movement on the computer, and the VE software, which provided the tools for creating training scenes. This system was used to facilitate motor relearning of the upper extremity for six patients with stroke. [Results] The results showed there were improvements in variability and accuracy of the arm movement in motion trajectory. In addition, the scores of clinical evaluations improved, and VE did not hinder motor relearning of the upper extremity, which is necessary for activities of daily living. [Conclusion] This VE system might be effective at facilitating motor relearning of the upper extremity for stroke patients.
[Purpose] The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of neck retraction taping on forward head posture and the upper trapezius muscle of computer workers during computer work. [Subjects] Twelve males aged 20–30 years were recruited. [Methods] We measured forward head angle and upper trapezius muscle activity during computer work before and after NRT. [Results] The FHP angle significantly decreased during computer work performed with NRT compared to without NRT. The UT muscle activity was also significantly decreased during computer work performed with NRT compared to without NRT. [Conclusion] We think that the taping tension provided by NRT may have provided a mechanical effect that prevented FHP. NRT may also encourage a proper head posture in patients unfamiliar with the neck retraction posture.
[Purpose] The purpose of this study was to identify the influence of relaxation exercises for the masticator muscles on the limited ROM and pain of temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD). [Subjects and Methods] The subjects were 10 men and 31 women in their 20s and 30s. They were randomly divided into no treatment, active exercises and relaxation exercise for the masticator muscle groups. The exercise groups performed exercises three times or more a day over a period of four weeks, performing exercise for 10 minutes each time. Before and after the four weeks, all the subjects were measured for ROM, deviation, occlusion, and pain in the temporomandibular joint. [Results] ROM, deviation and pain showed statistically significant in improvements after the intervention in the active exercise and relaxation exercise for the masticator muscle groups. Deviation also showed a statistically significant difference between the active exercise and relaxation exercise groups. [Conclusion] The results verify that as with active exercises, relaxation exercises for the masticatory muscles are an effective treatment for ROM and pain in TMD. Particularly, masticatory muscle relaxation exercises were found to be a treatment that is also effective for deviation.
[Purpose] This study was conducted in order to investigate the effect of repetitive passive movement and repetitive active movement on proprioception in forearm supination. [Subjects] This study had a cross-sectional design. Twenty-three right-handed healthy subjects were recruited. All subjects randomly received both repetitive passive movement and repetitive active movement (repetitive passive/active movement at 120°/s with 60 repetitions over a 0–80° range). Active and passive joint repositioning of all subjects was measured using the error score for position sense, both before and after repositioning intervention. [Results] In the repetitive passive movement test, there was a statistically significant decrease in the pre- versus post-repositioning error scores in the active and passive angle examinations. In the repetitive active movement test, there was a statistically significant increase in pre- versus post-repositioning error scores in the active and passive angle examinations. In the comparison of position sense, there was a statistically significant decrease in both active and passive angle repositioning error scores in repetitive passive movement versus repetitive active movement. [Conclusion] Repetitive passive movement improved the proprioception results for forearm supination, compared to repetitive active movement. Results of this study indicate that repetitive passive movement can be recommended to clinicians for rehabilitation therapy as it provides greater proprioception benefits.
[Purpose] The purpose of the present study was to examine the effects of longus colli muscle massage on the strength and endurance of the deep neck flexor muscle in adults. [Subjects] A total of 60 subjects were divided into an experimental group of 30 subjects and a control group of 30 subjects. [Methods] The experimental group received massage of the longus colli muscle, which is the deep neck flexor muscle, and the control group received superficial neck muscle massage. The strength and endurance of both the experimental group and the control group were measured before and after the intervention using a pressure biofeedback unit (PBU). [Results] After the experiment, the strength of DNF of the experimental group showed a statistically significant increase, and the endurance of DNF of the experimental group showed an increase in its average value. The independent sample t-test revealed no statistically significant differences in the groups. [Conclusion] Massage of the longus colli muscle, which is the deep neck flexor, was shown to improve its strength and endurance, which are measures of neck stabilization. Therefore, longus colli muscle massage can be performed for patients who cannot perform neck-stabilizing exercises or before performing other neck-stabilizing exercises.
[Purpose] The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of training using video games played on the Xbox Kinect on the muscle strength, muscle tone, and activities of daily living of post-stroke patients. [Subjects] Fourteen stroke patients were recruited. They were randomly allocated into two groups; the experimental group (n=7) and the control group (n=7). [Methods] The experimental group performed training using video games played on the Xbox Kinect together with conventional occupational therapy for 6 weeks (1 hour/day, 3 days/week), and the control group received conventional occupational therapy only for 6 weeks (30 min/day, 3 days/week). Before and after the intervention, the participants were measured for muscle strength, muscle tone, and performance of activities of daily living. [Results] There were significant differences pre- and post-test in muscle strength of the upper extremities, except the wrist, and performance of activities of daily living in the experimental group. There were no significant differences between the two groups at post-test. [Conclusion] The training using video games played on the Xbox Kinect had a positive effect on the motor function and performance of activities of daily living. This study showed that training using video games played on the Xbox Kinect may be an effective intervention for the rehabilitation of stroke patients.
[Purpose] To quantify the activity levels of individuals in an acute stroke ward, and to determine if their activity levels change within the first month after stroke. [Methods] In this pilot study, participant activity was monitored prospectively over a single day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on two separate occasions. Individuals with confirmed stroke > 18 years of age and less than 15 days post-stroke at the time of recruitment were eligible for inclusion in this study. Activity was recorded using an electronic device. The first day was scheduled within 15 days and the second at four weeks post-stroke. We looked at the following activity categories: number of transitions, and the times spent lying, sitting and in dynamic activity. [Results] Sixteen individuals were included in this study with a median age of 79.5 years (interquartile range 62.5 to 85). Fifty-six % of the participants had mild, 31% had moderate and 13% had severe stroke, according to the NIHSS score. There were no significant changes in number of transitions, or times spent in dynamic activity and lying and sitting. [Conclusion] Activity levels were low at an acute stroke ward and did not significantly change within the first month.
[Purpose] In this study, combined training with breathing resistance and sustained physical exertion was carried out to evaluate its physiological effects and its effect on improve endurance capacity. [Subjects and Methods] The subjects were nine healthy adults (mean age 20.4, SD ± 1.7 years). The combined training group (n = 5) carried out 6 weeks of combined training using a cycle ergometer, with exercise load tests and respiratory function tests performed before and after the training. The results of the training were compared to a control group (n = 4) that only performed the cycling exercise without the combined training with breathing resistance. [Results] In the combined training group, ventilatory threshold, maximal load of the cycle ergometer in exercise load tests, and maximal voluntary ventilation increased after training. These increases after training were all significant, but none of these variables changed significantly in the control group. [Conclusion] The results imply that in comparison to conventional training methods, combined training with breathing resistance and sustained physical exertion is beneficial for increasing endurance capacity and respiratory muscle function. This result provides important information regarding the effects of the new training method for improving endurance capacity.
[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.
[Purpose] The purpose of this study was to investigate and evaluate the timing and amount of muscle activity during forward-stepping motion. [Subjects and Methods] Seven healthy subjects participated in this study. The task was to step forward from a static standing position. Timing and amount of muscle activity were measured during the task. Muscle activities of the stance leg and the swing leg were measured using surface electromyography (EMG). [Results] A high negative correlation was found between the rate of change in the amount of tibialis anterior muscle activity of the stance leg and the reaction time. High positive correlations were found between the rates of change in the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles and the reaction time of the swing leg. [Discussion] Forward-stepping motion can be accomplished using two strategies. One is to swing the leg out taking a step forward using the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles of the swing leg. The other is to take a step forward using the tibialis anterior muscle of the stance leg. Increasing the activity of the tibialis anterior muscle of the stance leg may lead to taking a step forward rapidly.
[Purpose] The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the relationship between physical function, cognitive function, and activities of daily living in children with cerebral palsy. [Subjects] Sixty-eight children who had been diagnosed with cerebral palsy and have participated in inpatient or outpatient rehabilitation programs were enrolled in the present study. We used 3 clinical assessments: the Gross Motor Function Measure (GMFM), the Bayley Infant Development Screening Test-II (BSID-II), and the Wee Functional Independence Measure (WeeFIM). [Results] The GMFM was positively correlated with the BSID-II motor scale and the BSID-II cognitive scale, but not with the WeeFIM scores. The BSID-II motor scale was significantly correlated with the GMFM and BSID-II cognitive scale, but not with the WeeFIM. [Conclusion] The results of this study provide evidence of the necessity of including cognitive and physical impairments in the examination and evaluation of children with cerebral palsy in research and clinical settings.
[Purpose] This study was performed to investigate the histological changes that occur in the periphery of the sciatic nerve in rats undergoing knee immobilization. [Subjects and Methods] 29 male 9-week-old Wistar rats were divided randomly into a control group (C group, n = 7) and an immobilized group (I group, n = 22). The animals in the I group had the left knee joint immobilized in maximal flexion with plaster casts for two weeks. After the experimental period, we obtained cross-sections of tissues from the center of the left thigh, and the periphery of the sciatic nerve was observed under an optical microscope after hematoxylin-eosin staining. [Results] In contrast to the rats of C group, the rats in I group showed adherence between the bundle of nerve fibers and perineurium, as well as thickening of the perineurium. These histological changes were statistically significant. [Conclusions] Immobilization of the knee joints of rats resulted in characteristic histological changes in the connective tissue around the sciatic nerve.
[Purpose] Sensorimotor processing, including motor performance, is altered during the process of normal aging. Previous studies have investigated tasks requiring complex visuomotor coordination and active joint reposition tests. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate age-related changes in upper limb tasks, such as visuomotor coordination and proprioceptive acuity. [Subjects and Methods] We recruited 20 healthy elderly subjects and 20 healthy young subjects. We evaluated a tracking task for visuomotor function and a joint reposition test for integrity of proprioceptive sense in both hands of the elderly subjects, and compared the results with those of the healthy young subjects. [Results] The accuracy index scores for the tracking task were significantly lower in both the dominant and non-dominant hands of the elderly subjects than those of the young group. In addition, the reposition error score in the joint reposition test was significantly higher in the elderly group than in the young group. [Conclusion] Sensorimotor functions of both the dominant and non-dominant hands showed a decline in the elderly group. This finding suggests that sensorimotor function deteriorates with advancing age.
[Purpose] While recent studies have reported that cardiac rehabilitation is an effective treatment, there have been few studies of its effects in rehabilitation for acute coronary syndrome (ACS). Therefore, the purpose of this study was to identify the effects of a home-based exercise training using a wireless electrocardiogram (ECG) monitoring device on ACS patients. [Subjects] Fifty ACS patients were randomly divided into a experimental group of 25 patients and a control group of 25 patients. [Methods] The experimental group received education on the training before discharge from hospital and started home-based exercise training two weeks after discharge from hospital. The control group received conventional treatments. The left ventricular function was measured in both groups before the intervention at and 12 weeks, at the end of the intervention. [Results] Both the experimental group and the control group showed significant improvements in the left ventricular ejection fraction and number of regional wall motion abnormalities. In the comparison of the two groups, the experimental group showed a significantly greater decline in regional wall motion abnormalities than the control group. [Conclusion] Home-based exercise training implemented with a wireless monitoring device was effective at improving the left ventricular function of ACS patients.
[Purpose] The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of visual feedback training (VFT) in the sitting position on sitting balance ability and visual perception of chronic stroke patients. [Subjects] Twenty-two hospitalized subjects who had experienced a stroke more than six months earlier were included in this study. [Methods] Subjects in both the experimental group (n=12) and the control group (n=10) participated in a conventional rehabilitation program involving a 60-minute session five days per week for a period of four weeks. Subjects in the experimental group additionally practiced VFT 30-minute sessions, five days per week, for a period of four weeks. [Results] After the intervention, the experimental group showed significantly improved static sitting balance ability (left∙right, anterior∙posterior moment, and velocity moment), and dynamic sitting balance ability (anterior∙lateral moment). In visual perception tests, motor free visual perception test (MVPT) scores showed a significant increase of approximately 17% in the experimental group after the intervention. [Conclusion] The results of this study demonstrate the effectiveness of VFT in enhancing body function, as evidenced by improved sitting balance and visual perception of chronic stroke patients.
[Purpose] This study investigated the factors that influence activities provided during physical therapy for stroke. [Subjects] Data were collected from 85 physical therapists and 216 inpatients with stroke. [Methods] Time spent on specific functional activities provided to inpatients with stroke was recorded at nine rehabilitation facilities. These were used as dependent variables. Physical therapists’ characteristics, including years since acquiring a license, gender, and treatment concepts influencing physical therapy for stroke, were recorded. Inpatients’ characteristics, including age, gender, affected side, days post stroke, score on the Modified Rankin Scale (mRS), and gait ability measured by the Functional Independence Measure (FIM gait), were also recorded. Physical therapists’ and inpatients’ characteristics were used as independent variables. The t-test, correlation coefficients, and analysis of covariance were used to investigate which independent variables correlated with which dependent variables. [Results] Pre-gait, advanced gait, and community mobility were significantly correlated with mRS and FIM gait (|rs| = 0.32–0.62). Time spent on other functional activities had a weak correlation with inpatients’ characteristics. Time spent on functional activities had no or few correlations with physical therapists’ characteristics. [Conclusion] Relationships between time spent on specific functional activities and physical therapists’ characteristics were weaker than those for inpatients’ characteristics. Physical therapy for stroke includes many factors.
[Purpose] This study aimed at evaluating PT interns’ performance from the perspectives of clinical and academic physical therapists (PTs). [Methods] An online questionnaire based on a modified version of the Clinical Internship Evaluation Tool (CIET) was used to evaluate PT interns’ performance in patient management skills. Assessors comprised clinical and academic PTs from Saudi Arabia. The survey aimed at assessing the competency of interns in 25 patient management skills comprising four major domains: clinical examination, patient evaluation, diagnosis and prognosis, and intervention. Assessors were also asked to rank the importance of possessing each skill and evaluating the internship programs at their facilities. A multivariate logistic regression analysis assessed whether the demographic variables between the two groups influenced their views. [Results] A total of 148 participants (112 clinical PTs and 36 academic PTs) responded to the survey. The majority of the participants agreed that interns were competent in all 25 skills. Differences between the two groups of assessors were observed for five out of the 25 skills. Interestingly, skills with the highest means were perceived as the most important skills by both groups of assessors. There was no association between sociodemographic variables and evaluation scores. [Conclusion] There were no differences observed between clinical and academic PTs in their evaluation of PT interns in 20 of the 25 clinical skills. There were indications of a need for further improvement in certain competencies and skills such as clinical examination, evaluation, diagnosis and prognosis, and intervention.