Background: To prevent aspiration, patients with irreversible dysphagia may undergo surgeries that separate the esophagus and trachea. Such interventions result in loss of vocal function and require alternative communication methods. We report a patient with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) who used esophageal speech after receiving a central-part laryngectomy (CPL) to prevent aspiration.
Case: A 64-year-old woman with ALS was admitted to our hospital. The patient maintained good cognitive and oral function and presented with mild dysarthria and dysphagia. Faced with rapidly worsening respiratory distress, saliva aspiration, and excessive sputum, she underwent a tracheostomy on the premise of invasive ventilation. Subsequently, the patient began using a voice-generating application for communication. Given the patient’s sincere hope to prevent aspiration and aspiration pneumonia, achieve safe oral intake, and decrease caregiver burden for frequent suctioning, the patient underwent a CPL. Following surgery, belching was observed during meals, and the patient could phonate when she belched. This finding led to four speech therapy sessions to practice esophageal speech, allowing the patient to use the pseudo-speech technique for short conversations. Removal of the entire cricoid cartilage in the CPL decreases the upper esophageal sphincter (UES) pressure, thereby allowing air to easily pass through the UES. Therefore, the patient could use the air as a sound source for esophageal speech without extensive training.
Discussion: Esophageal speech may be an alternative to oral communication in patients undergoing CPL. Further research is warranted to generalize these findings to patients undergoing CPL.
Objectives: Hip fracture in the elderly involves two cases of invasive damage to the body within a short period of time: the fracture itself and subsequent surgery. This situation affects physical strength and presents a major challenge during convalescent rehabilitation. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of hochuekkito, a traditional Japanese herbal medicine, on physical activity, appetite, motivation, and quality of life (QOL) during inpatient rehabilitation treatment after hip surgery.
Methods: Thirty-eight patients with hip fracture who underwent postoperative convalescent rehabilitation were randomly assigned to either the hochuekkito group (n=20, daily hochuekkito administration from day 3 after surgery until discharge from hospital) or the control group (n=18). Physical activity was measured with a small tri-axial accelerometer worn by the patients; appetite was evaluated based on daily dietary calorie consumption; motivation was measured using the vitality index score; and QOL was measured using the European QOL 5-Dimensions 5-Levels questionnaire and its associated EQ-visual analog scale (EQ-VAS). All patients were assessed at day 3 (baseline) and 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10 weeks after surgery and at the time of discharge from hospital.
Results: The results for the hochuekkito group were significantly higher than the control group for walking exercise at 10 weeks, vigorous activity time at 8 weeks, dietary calorie consumption at 10 weeks and at discharge, and EQ-VAS score at 6 weeks.
Conclusions: In elderly hip fracture patients, a course of hochuekkito administration starting soon after surgery significantly improved QOL, physical activity, and appetite at 6 weeks after surgery.
Background: Auto-mobilization (AM) is a treatment method that patients can use by themselves for pain relief. We report the case of a patient diagnosed with cervical disk herniation (CDH), with frequent recurrences of upper limb numbness and neck pain. The patient experienced a favorable outcome after cervical spine AM, as evidenced by the immediate and long-term relief of his symptoms as well as changes observed through imaging.
Case: A 33-year-old-man diagnosed with CDH presented with frequent recurrences of upper limb numbness and neck pain. Radiographic and T2-weighted magnetic resonance imaging scans revealed cervical spine kyphosis and a left paracentral to intraforaminal lesion with disk herniation of protrusion type at C4–5. He was started on AM to elicit physiological lordosis of the cervical spine. This treatment was painless and did not cause withdrawal on discontinuation. AM improved the mobility of his cervical lower facet joints, reduced dysesthesia, and eliminated pain. Improvement in neck pain and cervical kyphosis and reduction of disk herniation were observed 2 years after initiating the intervention.
Discussion: Appropriate physical therapy evaluation and cervical AM for this patient resulted in symptomatic relief and indirect disk herniation regression. By adding imaging findings to clinical findings, the effect of AM could be visualized, and the reliability of the therapeutic effect was further enhanced.
Objectives: Neonatal brain injury during gait development disrupts neural circuits and causes permanent gait dysfunction. Rehabilitation as an intervention to improve impaired gait function has been used in adults as a treatment for stroke and spinal cord injury. However, although neonates have greater neuroplasticity and regenerative capacity than adults, normal gait development and the effects of habilitation on gait function following neonatal brain injury are largely unknown.
Methods: In this study, we generated cryogenic injury in mice at postnatal day 2 and subsequently performed habilitative training to promote autonomous limb movement for 4 weeks. We also quantitatively analyzed the gait acquisition process in developing mice using the Catwalk XT system.
Results: Using quantitative gait analyses, we showed that during normal gait development in mice, stance phase function matures later than swing phase function. We also demonstrated that habilitation in which active limb movements were enhanced by suspending mice with a rubber band with no floor grounding promotes motor learning, including gait function, in mice with impaired acquisition of gait function resulting from neonatal brain injury.
Conclusions: Our findings provide a basis for research on gait development in mice and suggest new habilitation strategies for patients with impaired gait development caused by perinatal brain diseases such as hypoxic–ischemic encephalopathy and periventricular leukomalacia.
Background: Constraint-induced aphasia therapy (CIAT) has been reported as a short-term, intensive language training program for improving language function in patients with chronic aphasia. We report the recovery of language function in a patient with chronic aphasia who was evaluated in the baseline assessment as having reached a plateau.
Case: The patient with subcortical aphasia was a 62-year-old, right-handed man. At 192 days after left putamen hemorrhage, he visited our hospital to begin CIAT. The patient’s language and speech abilities were evaluated 1 month before and immediately before the start of CIAT. To evaluate the training effect, language function was assessed immediately after, 1 month after, 3 months after, and 6 months after the end of CIAT. The Western Aphasia Battery (WAB), the single-word-naming task in the Test of Lexical Processing in Aphasia (TLPA), and the Verbal Activity Log (VAL) were used to assess his language function and the amount of spoken language. From 1 month before CIAT to 6 months after CIAT, the WAB Aphasia Quotient increased by 6.1 points. Compared with before therapy, the errors of apraxia of speech in the TLPA disappeared from immediately after to 6 months after CIAT. Although the VAL score at 3 months after CIAT was higher than that before the start of CIAT, the score decreased after 6 months because of reduced opportunities for communication with friends.
Discussion: CIAT improved the word-naming ability and amount of spontaneous, real-world spoken language in a patient with chronic aphasia.
Objectives: To provide a safe and appropriate out-of-bed program for stroke patients, screening for stroke-related functional impairments and disabilities should be performed in advance. However, few tools are available for clinical assessment of out-of-bed mobility while patients are still on bed. We sought to establish the validity and reliability of a newly developed Functional Bridge Test (FBT) for hemiplegic patients with acute stroke.
Methods: This repeated-measures, observational study was conducted at a stroke care unit at an acute hospital. We assessed the validity of the FBT score, intra-rater and inter-rater reliabilities of the FBT, and concurrent validity of the FBT in stroke patients with hemiplegia. In addition to the original qualitative assessment, the FBT was also assessed quantitatively to evaluate the validity of the FBT score. Outcome measures included stroke severity, lower limb muscle strength, and basic mobility.
Results: We enrolled 32 patients with acute stroke. The newly developed FBT score had high validity. Intra-rater and inter-rater reliabilities (weighted kappa coefficient, 95% confidence interval) showed almost perfect agreement (0.95, 0.88–1.00; 0.98, 0.94–1.00, respectively). The FBT score was significantly associated with stroke severity, physical function, and basic mobility.
Conclusions: The FBT has sufficient validity and reliability for acute stroke patients with hemiplegia. The advantages of the FBT in a clinical setting are based on its ability to be quickly administered on a bed without the need for specialized equipment. The FBT may help in screening functional impairment and disability in hemiplegic patients with acute stroke before they resume out-of-bed activities.
Background: We previously reported that swallowing in the bridge position (bridge swallowing) strengthened esophageal contractions and increased the lower esophageal sphincter pressure against gravity. Furthermore, bridge swallowing exercise improved the symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) in subjects with GERD. Bridge swallowing may have the potential to strengthen esophageal peristalsis and improve GERD. In this case series, we evaluated the effect of bridge swallowing on GERD symptoms and esophageal residue observed by videofluoroscopic examination of swallowing (VF) in patients with dysphagia after stroke.
Cases: We reviewed the cases of five patients hospitalized with stroke and concurrent GERD symptoms. Dry swallowing exercises in the bridge (hip lift) position were performed ten times per day for 4 weeks. Frequency Scale for Symptoms of GERD (FSSG) questionnaire scores and esophageal residue on VF were compared before and after exercise. All patients completed the bridge swallowing exercise without adverse events and all showed improved FSSG scores after the exercise. Three patients showed improvements in esophageal residue on VF after exercise.
Discussion: Our findings indicated that the bridge swallowing exercise can improve FSSG scores. Some patients showed improved esophageal residue on VF. This exercise was performed easily and safely without adverse events. Further studies are needed to validate the effectiveness of the bridge swallowing exercise in improving GERD.
Objectives: Physical activity is an important prognostic factor in managing hemodialysis patients. During winter, physical activity decreases, which necessitates interventions to maintain physical function. This study investigated whether snow removal is an effective physical activity to maintain physical function in hemodialysis patients.
Methods: This retrospective cohort study examined 32 patients (aged 68.9 ± 14.2 years, 21 men) who underwent hemodialysis at Uonuma Kikan Hospital from March 2021 to March 2022. The patients were divided into snow-remover and non-snow-remover groups. The primary outcome was the Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB). Secondary outcomes were grip strength, skeletal muscle index, and physical activity level. Differences in outcomes between the groups were investigated at 1 year of follow-up.
Results: The snow-remover group had significantly high SPPB score, grip strength (men), skeletal muscle index (men), and physical activity at baseline. The decline in SPPB after 1 year was significantly smaller in the snow-remover group than in the non-snow-remover group. The level of physical activity in the non-snow-remover group decreased over time.
Conclusions: Snow removal contributed to the maintenance of physical function in hemodialysis patients after 1 year. However, snow removal is not recommended for all hemodialysis patients, and further studies should identify other safe winter activities to maintain physical function.
Objectives: The WISH-type S-form hip brace (WISH brace) has significantly improved hip function and functional mobility in patients with hip osteoarthritis (OA). However, most patients later undergo surgery. The main purpose of this study was to evaluate how long the orthosis can be effectively used by patients with hip OA, and to reveal the associated prognostic factors.
Methods: This prospective study examined the survival curve of the equipment by using surgery as an endpoint and investigated how the duration of use affects patients. Harris Hip Score, muscle strength, and the Timed Up and Go test (TUG) were evaluated as prognostic factors.
Results: By drawing the survival curves of 26 patients, approximately one third were expected to be still using the brace after 7 years. A rapid decrease in use was observed at around 1 year. A significant difference between patients with and without bracing at 1 year was found for the TUG result with the unaffected leg inside (ULI) at the start of bracing. A cut-off value of 9.5 s for the TUG with ULI significantly differentiated patients with and without bracing at 1 year, suggesting a possible predictor of brace survivorship in the early phase.
Conclusions: The TUG with ULI with a cut-off value of 9.5 s, or at most 10 s, may be a possible predictor of persistence of brace use in the early phase.
Objectives: We previously reported that swallowing in the bridge position (bridge swallowing) increased distal esophageal contractions and lower esophageal sphincter pressure against gravity. Moreover, bridge swallowing had the potential to strengthen esophageal peristalsis. In this study, we sought to evaluate whether the bridge swallowing exercise could improve gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) symptoms and gastroscopy findings.
Methods: Seventeen subjects with scores of 8 points or higher on the Frequency Scale for Symptoms of GERD (FSSG) questionnaire participated in the study. The exercise of dry swallowing in the bridge posture lasted 4 weeks and was performed ten times per day. FSSG scores were compared before and after exercise. Three of the 17 participants underwent upper gastrointestinal endoscopy. The modified Los Angeles classification of reflux esophagitis was used for objective assessment before and after exercise.
Results: No participants dropped out of this study. FSSG scores improved significantly after exercise (from median [range] 16 [13–21] points before exercise to 5 [4–10] points after exercise, P <0.001). Upper gastrointestinal endoscopy showed improvement in the modified Los Angeles classification grade in one participant.
Conclusions: The bridge swallowing exercise significantly improves FSSG scores. This exercise can be performed easily and safely without adverse events. Further multicenter prospective studies are needed to validate that the bridge swallowing exercise is effective in improving GERD.
Objectives: The gait characteristics of people with bilateral transtibial amputation are not well understood. This study aimed to clarify changes in trunk lateral bending and the trunk flexion angle during walking in people with bilateral transtibial amputation.
Methods: In this cross-sectional study, four participants with bilateral transtibial amputation who could walk without assistance (BTTA group) and ten able-bodied participants (control group) were recruited. The range of motion of trunk lateral bending, the trunk flexion angle, and other gait parameters during comfortable-speed and maximum-speed walking were measured using a three-dimensional motion analysis system and force plates. These parameters were compared between the amputees and the controls.
Results: During maximum-speed walking, the BTTA group walked slower with a smaller trunk flexion angle (median, 1.75° vs. 4.79°, P=0.036) and greater double leg support time (0.18 vs. 0.12, P=0.008) when compared with the control group. The other parameters during maximum-speed walking were not significantly different between the two groups. During comfortable-speed walking, none of the parameters were significantly different between the two groups.
Conclusions: Compensatory trunk flexion angle decreases markedly during maximum-speed walking in people with bilateral transtibial amputation. People with bilateral transtibial amputation may be changing the trunk flexion angle to walk faster. When evaluating gait compensation for people with bilateral transtibial amputation, trunk flexion angle may be an important index and maximum-speed walking is needed to detect the change in trunk flexion angle.
Background: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is associated with an increased risk of thrombotic complications. Nonetheless, there is a paucity of clinical knowledge regarding rehabilitation of patients with COVID-19 after lower-limb amputation.
Case: A 74-year-old woman with COVID-19 was admitted to a university hospital. During hospitalization, she underwent right transfemoral amputation due to acute limb ischemia. Three months after admission, the patient was transferred to a convalescent rehabilitation ward in the same hospital. A femoral prosthesis was prescribed 2 weeks after her transfer to the rehabilitation ward. It featured ischial-ramal containment with a soft liner and belt suspension, 668-g multiple linkage-type safety knee joint (Imasen Engineering; M0781 SwanS), and a solid-ankle cushioned-heel foot. The total rehabilitation time during the patient’s stay in the acute-care and rehabilitation wards was 65.5 h (0.99 h/day, 66 days) and 275.0 h (3.02 h/day, 91 days), respectively. In the rehabilitation ward, the patient underwent 54.4 h (19.8%) of muscle strength training, 48.1 h (17.5%) of comprehensive assessments, and 47.1 h (17.1%) of gait training. The patient was discharged home 6 months after admission, with a total Functional Independence Measure score of 120. The patient could walk slowly [44.2 s (0.23 m/s) in the 10 m-walk test] with a femoral prosthesis and a quad cane but exhibited limited endurance (75.0 m in the 6-min walk test).
Discussion: Following appropriate rehabilitation, a patient was able to walk independently after lower-limb amputation despite the complication of COVID-19, although her walking ability was limited.
Objectives: With a relatively high percentage of type I fibers in the vastus medialis (VM), its fatigability may be more sensitive to the effects of muscle activity in the quadriceps. However, sex-related differences in the muscle fatigability of the VM remain unknown. The purpose of the present study was to assess the differences in fatigability of the VM between healthy adult men and women.
Methods: Surface electromyographic (EMG) activities of VM oblique (VMO) and VM long (VML) were recorded during sustained isometric contraction on a leg press machine. The results of EMG power spectral analysis were compared between healthy adult men and women. The decline in the median frequency (MF), defined as MF slope, was calculated using spectrum analysis after fast Fourier transform of the raw EMG signals of VMO and VML.
Results: The endurance time and the MF slopes of the VMO and VML were significantly longer and lower, respectively, in women than in men. The present results demonstrated that both VMO and VML are more fatigue-resistant in women than in men.
Conclusions: Understanding the sex differences in fatigability could help to design more effective exercise regimens for VMO and VML in healthy individuals. A similar approach should be considered when prescribing practical exercise regimens for patients with muscle atrophy.
Background: Constraint-induced movement therapy (CIMT) improves the motor function of paralyzed upper limbs of adults after stroke. However, in patients with severe spastic cerebral palsy (CP), the use of CIMT is not warranted. Our aim was to investigate the feasibility and effectiveness of repetitive voluntary-assisted upper limb training (VAUT) for three patients with severe CP using a combination of robotics [Hybrid Assistive Limb (HAL)] and functional electrical stimulation [Integrated Volitional Control Electrical Stimulation (IVES)].
Case: Three patients with CP were enrolled. Patients 1, 2, and 3 were 8-, 19-, and 18-year-old males, respectively. Patient 1 had spastic hemiplegia, while patients 2 and 3 had spastic quadriplegia. VAUT using single-joint HAL was performed for 1 or 2 sessions/month for 50 min/session over an 8-month period for 9–13 sessions in total. One patient’s voluntary hand movement was insufficient, affecting his upper limb exercise performance; therefore, IVES was required in addition to HAL. Outcome measures included motor function of the upper limbs and use of paralyzed hands, which were measured before and after intervention. No adverse events were observed during VAUT. After intervention, the Action Research Arm Test scores showed improvements in all three patients. The Children’s Hand-use Experience Questionnaire showed improvements in two patients.
Discussion: The use of VAUT, together with new systems such as HAL and IVES, for severe CP is safe and may be effective. Our study suggested that upper limb function can be improved for patients with severe CP.
Objectives: The aim of this study was to investigate the preoperative factors affecting health-related quality of life (HRQOL) at 3 and 12 months after total knee arthroplasty (TKA).
Methods: In total, 156 patients who underwent unilateral TKA for knee osteoarthritis were included in the study. The Knee Injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (KOOS) was used as a measure of HRQOL before surgery and 3 and 12 months post-TKA. The Modified Gait Efficacy Scale (mGES) score, tibiofemoral angle, rest pain, walking pain, knee joint range of motion, knee joint extensor strength, and walking speed were recorded preoperatively. Pearson’s correlation coefficient and the correlation ratio were used to calculate the correlation between KOOS and preoperative factors at 3 and 12 months post-TKA. Multiple regression analysis was performed using the stepwise method with the five postoperative KOOS subscales as dependent variables and the other preoperative factors as independent variables.
Results: Preoperative mGES scores were significantly correlated with KOOS Activities of Daily Living, Sport/Rec, and QOL subscores at 3 months post-TKA and with all five KOOS subscales at 12 months post-TKA. Multiple regression analysis identified mGES as an influencing factor for all KOOS subscales except Pain at 3 months post-TKA and all KOOS subscales except Symptoms at 12 months post-TKA.
Conclusions: Preoperative walking self-efficacy influenced HRQOL at 3 and 12 months post-TKA. Psychological factors such as self-efficacy should be considered when predicting postoperative outcomes.
Objectives: Balance in the mediolateral direction is usually maintained in patients with early-stage Parkinson’s disease (PD), but not in moderate-stage PD as revealed by the Tandem Gait Test. Although mediolateral postural control in PD patients remains controversial, previous studies have shown that the Tandem Gait Test may predict the risk of future falls in patients with PD. This study aimed to clarify postural control differences among PD patients with and without mediolateral balance impairments (MLBI: mediolateral balance impairments, nMLBI: non-mediolateral balance impairments, respectively) and healthy controls (HCs).
Methods: We recruited 40 PD patients and 20 HCs. According to the Tandem Gait Test score, PD patients were divided into MLBI and nMLBI groups. Primary outcome measures were the ambulatory movement trajectory amplitude of the center of mass and its coefficient of variation (CV) during gait.
Results: Mediolateral movement trajectory amplitudes and CV were not significantly different between the nMLBI group and HCs, whereas the mediolateral movement trajectory amplitude in the MLBI group was significantly higher than that in the nMLBI group. Moreover, the CV of the mediolateral movement trajectory amplitude in the MLBI group was significantly lower than that in the nMLBI group. The mediolateral movement trajectory amplitude was significantly correlated with the fall score.
Conclusions: The current results suggest that PD patients with mediolateral balance impairments showed mediolateral postural sway during gait compared with PD patients without mediolateral balance impairments. It is necessary to focus on the instabilities in the mediolateral direction to avoid falls in PD patients.
Objectives: Patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA)-related foot impairment have a high rate of sarcopenia. Treatment using a foot orthosis (FO) enables not only a reduction in pain while walking but also an increase in physical activity, helping to prevent further loss of muscle mass. However, the primary goal of treating RA is to maximize patients’ long-term quality of life (QOL). We investigated whether FO treatment both increases physical activity and improves QOL.
Methods: Among 31 patients with RA-related foot impairment, 15 with sarcopenia were treated with an FO for 6 months. Foot-specific QOL (measuring using the Self-Administered Foot Evaluation Questionnaire), foot pain, activities of daily living, and physical activity (walking-intensity activity and moderate- to vigorous-intensity activity) were compared before treatment and after 6 months of treatment.
Results: Ten patients who completed 6 months of follow-up were analyzed. Significant QOL improvements were found in the Pain and Pain-Related category and the Physical Functioning and Daily Living category (P = 0.02–0.04); however, no significant changes were found in the Social Functioning, General Health and Well-Being, or Shoe-Related categories (P = 0.09–0.21). Foot pain and activities of daily living significantly improved (P = 0.01–0.04). Physical activity significantly increased for walking-intensity activity (P = 0.04) but did not change for moderate- to vigorous-intensity activity (P = 1.00).
Conclusions: FO treatment in patients with RA-related foot impairment and sarcopenia increased light-intensity physical activity such as walking and improved physical QOL.
Objectives: This study examined whether the reliability of the Nine Hole Peg Test (NHPT) is improved by a modification (mNHPT) that confines the peg insertion/removal order to one way to reduce the degree of freedom of spatial strategies.
Methods: Participants performed the NHPT and mNHPT three times each in two sessions with an interval of 3–5 days. Healthy adults used their non-dominant hand (n=40), while those with hemiparetic stroke used their affected (n=40) or unaffected hand (n=40). The mean value of three trials from each session was used for analyses. The reliabilities of the NHPT and mNHPT during the two sessions were assessed via intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) and Bland–Altman analysis.
Results: The ICCs of the NHPT and mNHPT were 0.49 and 0.66, respectively, in healthy participants, and 0.91 and 0.94, respectively, in participants with stroke, regardless of the hand used. A significant fixed bias between the sessions was observed in both tests, except for participants with stroke who used their affected hand. Proportional biases were noted in the mNHPT results of healthy participants and in the NHPT and mNHPT results of participants with stroke who used their affected hand. The limits of agreement (lower, upper) in the affected hand were −11.0 and 9.5 for the NHPT and −8.0 and 6.2 for the mNHPT.
Conclusions: Reduced degrees of freedom in the spatial strategy improved the relative reliability and reduced measurement errors in the NHPT. However, fixed and proportional biases were still evident.
Objectives: This double-blind crossover-controlled trial aimed to verify the effect of electrical stimulation therapy on pressure injuries with undermining.
Methods : In this trial, we compared the healing rates between a sham period and a treatment period using monophasic pulsed microcurrent therapy. The participants were randomly assigned to the sham or treatment group and received stimulation for 2 weeks. All the participants, physical therapists, and researchers were blinded to the allocation. For the main analysis, data on the effect of the intervention on changes in weekly healing and contraction rates of the wound areas, including undermining, were analyzed based on a two-period crossover study design. The intervention effect was estimated by examining the mean treatment difference for each period using Wilcoxon’s signed-rank test.
Results : The reduction of the entire wound area, including the undermining area, resulted in significantly higher healing and contraction rates in the treatment group (overall wound area reduction rate: contraction rate, P=0.008; period healing rate, P=0.002).
Conclusions : Electrical stimulation therapy for pressure injuries, using conditions based on the findings of an in vivo culture study, was effective in reducing the wound area.
The 20th and 21st centuries have witnessed a substantial increase in human life expectancy and in the number of men and women aged 60 years and older. Aging is associated with a large number of health conditions, including sarcopenia, which has been the subject of important research in the past 30 years. Sarcopenia is characterized by an age-related loss of muscle mass, weakness, and impaired physical performance. The condition can be diagnosed with a combination of measurements of these three elements. The precise definition of sarcopenia and the selection of optimal assessment methods have changed significantly in the past 20 years; nonetheless, the prevalence of sarcopenia in the general older population is in the range of 5–15%. Molecular and cellular events at the muscle cell level impact the size and quality of muscles (force adjusted for size). The active and passive mechanical properties of single muscle fibers are altered by changes in the structure and function of various cellular elements. Systemic factors such as inflammation, loss of hormonal influence, and deleterious lifestyle choices also contribute to sarcopenia. The consequences of sarcopenia include many adverse effects such as impairments in activities of daily living, falls, loss of independence, and increased mortality. Several rehabilitative interventions have been tested, and the safest and most effective is the use of progressive resistance exercise. An increase in dietary protein intake has synergistic effects. Future research should focus on a consensus definition of sarcopenia, identification of the best assessment methods, understanding of biological mechanisms, and testing of innovative interventions.
Objectives: The aim of the current study was to identify a cut-off value for predicting walking independence at discharge in older adults with hip fracture based on their Berg Balance Scale (BBS) score at admission to a convalescent rehabilitation ward.
Methods: This was a retrospective, multicenter, observational study of 187 older adults with hip fractures (mean age 83.7, range 66–97 years). Data was collected on the patients’ age, sex, treatment, and physical function evaluation. An ordinal logistic regression analysis was used to identify predictors associated with the degree of independence in walking at discharge. Receiver operating characteristic curves were used to estimate cut-off values to predict independent and supervised walking at discharge based on the BBS score at admission. The accuracy of the classification was assessed using the area under the curve (AUC).
Results: The BBS score at admission was a significant factor predicting the degree of walking independence at discharge (odds ratio = 1.09, 95%CI: 1.06–1.11). The cut-off values of the BBS score at admission for predicting independent walking and supervised walking at discharge were 28 points (AUC = 0.76, 95%CI: 0.69–0.83) and 21 points (AUC = 0.84, 95%CI: 0.77–0.91), respectively.
Conclusions: The BBS scores of older adults with hip fracture on admission to a rehabilitation ward are useful for predicting the degree of independence in walking at discharge and can help to structure therapy according to the predicted degree of independence.
Objectives: Home-visit rehabilitation is critical for cancer patients because it facilitates recovery. However, few studies have reported relevant information and practices concerning this patient support. This study investigated the factors influencing the self-efficacy of cancer survivors receiving home-visit rehabilitation compared with non-cancer home-visit rehabilitation users by matching propensity scores.
Methods: The present study was a cross-sectional study involving participants from two cancer care institutions. Fifteen cancer survivors who received home-visit rehabilitation (9 men, 6 women; age=77.6±11.1 years) were matched for their propensity scores (adjusted for age, sex, and comorbidity) with 15 home-visit rehabilitation users without cancer (8 men, 7 women; age=74.7±11.7 years). Self-efficacy was measured based on the self-efficacy for activities of daily living (SEADL) scale and self-efficacy for going out among community-dwelling elderly people (SEGE) scale. Grip strength (GS), 30-second chair stand test (CS-30), Functional Independence Measure (FIM), and Life-Space Assessment (LSA) were measured based on objective evaluation items.
Results: In cancer survivors, the SEADL was significantly correlated with GS, CS-30, FIM, motor-FIM (mFIM), and LSA. The CS-30 of cancer survivors was significantly correlated with SEGE. Among home-visit rehabilitation users without cancer, although the correlation between SEADL and FIM or mFIM was significant, SEGE was not significantly correlated with the other measurements.
Conclusions: When compared with home-visit rehabilitation users without cancer, self-efficacy among cancer survivors was influenced not only by activities of daily living but also by physical function and life-space mobility.
Objectives: This study reviewed the effect of vocal exercise on patients with cervical spinal cord injury (SCI).
Methods: An electronic search of the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), MEDLINE, and Embase databases was conducted for relevant studies published between 1980 and 2022. The review included studies that used randomized controlled trials to examine the effects of vocal exercise on people with cervical SCI.
Results: We screened 1351 articles, of which 4 studies were eligible for inclusion. Vocal exercises were conducted two or three times a week for 12–24 weeks. Random sequences were adequately generated in all studies. All studies used respiratory function as the main outcome, and three studies used vocal quality as an outcome. In all studies, there were no dropouts other than those caused by unexpected illness. Vocal exercises were reported to have a positive effect on respiratory function in all studies and on voice quality in three studies. Meta-analysis was not possible because of the heterogeneity of the studies.
Conclusions: Vocal exercise for SCI is a sustainable method that does not require special equipment or skills. More studies with large sample sizes are needed to confirm the effects of vocal exercises in patients with cervical SCI.
Background: Exercise therapy for patients with pediatric nephrotic syndrome is necessary to improve physical function to maintain the patient’s activities of daily life and school life while managing the risk of relapse; however, few studies have examined exercise therapy in the acute phase of the syndrome. This case study aimed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of exercise therapy in a patient with acute pediatric nephrotic syndrome being treated with steroids.
Case: The patient was a 10-year-old boy diagnosed with primary nephrotic syndrome. Prednisolone (50 mg) was started on the 3rd day of hospitalization. Exercise therapy (moderate-intensity, 40 min, five times a week) was started on the 15th day. The urine protein/creatinine ratio from the 15th day (at the start of rehabilitation) to discharge decreased from 1.1 to 0.4, with no recurrence of nephrotic syndrome. At the initial, middle, and final evaluations, respectively, the grip strength was 10.1, 8.9, and 8.3 kg; the knee extension strength was 0.38, 0.46, and 0.45 kgf/kg; the sit-up test results were 18, 18, and 15 times; the side-step test results were 34, 36, and 31 times; the sit-and-reach test results were 22.9, 24.5, and 23.8 cm; and the 6-min walk test results were 420, 490, and 520 m. Leg muscle strength and exercise tolerance improved, but upper limb strength, trunk muscle strength, and agility decreased.
Discussion: Moderate-intensity exercises may be effective and safe for pediatric patients with nephrotic syndrome in the acute phase. Exercise therapy may be beneficial to improve physical function and prevent decline during hospitalization in pediatric nephrotic syndrome patients.
Objectives: Stroke patients with hemiplegia can sometimes achieve independent life at home or in light care facilities after rehabilitation. This study examined the outcomes of rehabilitation in stroke patients with severe hemiplegia.
Methods: This study included 50 patients with Brunnstrom recovery stage I–II hemiplegia at the start of rehabilitation for stroke. Good outcome after rehabilitation was defined as independent life with functional independence measure (FIM) score of 100 or greater. Predictors for post-rehabilitation functional recovery were statistically analyzed.
Results: FIM scores of 100 or greater in 12 of 50 patients (24%) allowed independent life after stroke rehabilitation. According to univariate analysis, factors associated with a FIM score of 100 or greater and good prognosis after rehabilitation were younger age (<70 years), paralysis caused by intracerebral hematoma (ICH), no cortical lesions, short time from admission to comprehensive inpatient rehabilitation (CIR) for stroke (within 1 month), and good status at the start of early rehabilitation and CIR. Eleven of the 12 patients with good prognosis (FIM ≥100) had ICH and a basal ganglia lesion with no cortical damage. Analysis of the location of lesions suggested that many patients with basal ganglia ICH lesions and little cortical involvement have good prognoses.
Conclusions: Stroke patients with severe hemiplegia showed a slightly different distribution of lesions between ICH and cerebral ischemia. Cortical involvement may be a prognostic factor for outcome after rehabilitation in stroke patients with severe hemiplegia. More aggressive rehabilitation interventions may be important for patients with severe hemiplegia, especially without cortical involvement.
Objectives: In Japan, there is no established method to assess the ability to read and write in English. To address this problem, we sought to develop a screening test for the early detection of students who show difficulties in reading and writing in English.
Methods: The participants were 425 fifth- and sixth-grade elementary school students and 526 first- through third-grade junior high school students. While setting up the task items, we focused on the assessment of visual information processing ability related to letter-symbol information processing. Q1 was a letter identification task, Q2 was a letter recognition task, Q3 was a discrimination task, Q4 was a lexical decision task, Q5 was a semantic comprehension task, Q6 was a meaningful sentence copy task, and Q7 was a nonsensical sentence copy task. Q1 to Q5 assessed reading ability and Q6 and Q7 assessed writing ability.
Results: The comparison of basic distribution between elementary and junior high school showed that there were differences in the distribution of both reading and writing scores between the two school types (P<0.05). At the cut-off value of −1.5 SD, 7.8% of the students were extracted for reading scores and 4.2%–5.5% for writing scores.
Conclusions: The extraction rate of students using this screening test supports the results of previously published studies. Thus, this screening test is considered suitable for identifying elementary and junior high school students who face difficulties in reading and writing in English.
Objectives: This study aimed to evaluate the diagnostic properties for carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) of the median-to-ulnar cross-sectional area ratio (MUR) and the median-to-superficial radial cross-sectional area ratio (MRR).
Methods: A case–control study was conducted. A physiatrist, blinded to the CTS status of the subjects, assessed the cross-sectional area of the median nerve (CSA-m), MUR, and MRR at the distal wrist crease for the CTS and control groups. The relationship of CSA-m, MUR, and MRR with CTS severity was tested using Spearman’s correlation. The overall diagnostic accuracy was determined using the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC). The cut-off values to diagnose CTS were chosen to achieve similar values for sensitivity and specificity.
Results: There were 32 hands in the CTS group and 33 hands in the control group. The correlations of CSA-m, MUR, and MRR with CTS severity were 0.66, 0.56, and 0.34, respectively. The AUCs of CSA-m, MUR, and MRR were 0.86 (95%CI: 0.77–0.95), 0.79 (0.69–0.90), and 0.69 (0.56–0.82), respectively. The cut-off values of CSA-m, MUR, and MRR were 12 mm2 (sensitivity, 81.3%; specificity, 81.8%), 2.6 (sensitivity, 68.8%; specificity, 69.7%), and 10 (sensitivity, 65.6%; specificity, 63.6%), respectively.
Conclusions : MUR and MRR had acceptable diagnostic abilities but did not show superiority over CSA-m for CTS diagnosis.
Objectives: To achieve better outcomes, neuromuscular and biomechanical factors should be considered in rehabilitation after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction. In this study, we investigated the feasibility and safety of a wearable exoskeleton robot suit [known as the single-joint hybrid assistive limb (HAL-SJ)] and whether knee training using this device could improve functional outcomes after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction.
Methods: HAL-SJ-assisted knee extension and flexion exercises were commenced in 11 patients 18 weeks after reconstruction; exercises were performed once a week for three weeks at a frequency of five sets of ten repetitions. Patients were monitored for HAL-SJ-related adverse events. Physical evaluations were conducted before and after HAL-SJ training. Surface electromyography of the quadriceps and hamstring muscles was performed in 4 of the 11 patients during each session and the muscle co-contraction index was calculated.
Results: The peak muscle torque was higher at all velocities after HAL-SJ training. The active range of motion significantly increased in both extension and flexion, and the range of motion in passive flexion significantly increased. The Tegner Activity Scale and Lysholm Knee Questionnaire scores also significantly increased after knee HAL training. The muscle co-contraction index during extension tended to be lower after HAL-SJ training. No adverse events were observed.
Conclusions: The findings of this study indicate the feasibility and safety of HAL-SJ training as a neuromuscular rehabilitation tool after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction. The knee HAL-SJ training may have contributed to these results from a neurophysiological perspective by lowering the co-contraction of knee muscles, which would correct impairment of the antagonistic or synergistic muscles.
Objectives: Stroke patients may have a step-to gait pattern during the early stages of gait reacquisition. This gait provides stability, but it is slow and inefficient. Therefore, acquiring step-through gait is desirable for better efficiency as ability improves. This study aimed to examine the relevant factors affecting the acquisition of step-through gait pattern in subacute stroke patients based on assessments of physical function at admission.
Methods: This was a retrospective cohort study. A total of 91 patients with hemiplegic stroke, Functional Independence Measure (FIM) gait item of 4 or less on admission, and FIM gait item of 5 or greater on discharge were included. Factors necessary for the acquisition of step-through gait pattern were examined based on the motor function assessed by Stroke Impairment Assessment Set (SIAS) at the time of admission. Gait pattern was defined by the gait step length of the Tinetti Performance-Oriented Mobility Assessment at discharge.
Results: Knee-joint extension function on the paralyzed side was determined as a factor associated with the acquisition of step-through gait pattern at discharge [odds ratio 2.24, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.44‒3.50, P<0.001]. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve for predicting the step-through gait pattern at discharge was 0.786 (95% CI 0.676–0.896, P<0.001) for the SIAS knee joint score at admission; the optimal cut-off score being 2 or greater (sensitivity 81%, specificity 61%).
Conclusions: Knee function on the paralyzed side in subacute stroke patients is an independent predictor for the acquisition of step-through gait pattern.
Objectives: This retrospective observational study investigated whether the degree of muscular echogenicity in patients admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) could help with the early detection of ICU-acquired weakness (ICU-AW) and predict physical function at hospital discharge.
Methods: Twenty-five patients who were mechanically ventilated for more than 48 h in the ICU were enrolled. We also enrolled 23 outpatients with nonmuscular diseases as the control group. The target sites for measuring muscular echogenicity were the upper arm and lower leg. First, the muscular echogenicity was compared between surviving nonsurgical patients admitted to the ICU and stable outpatients with nonmuscular diseases. Second, we investigated the relationship between muscular echogenicity and clinical features, e.g., the manual muscle test (MMT), Medical Research Council (MRC) sum score, and Functional Independence Measure (FIM).
Results: Muscular echogenicity in the upper arm in the ICU group was significantly higher than that in the control group. In the ICU group, the degree of muscular echogenicity of the upper arm was inversely correlated with the MMT of elbow flexion (P=0.006; r=−0.532) and the MRC sum score (P=0.002; r=−0.591). However, muscular echogenicity of the upper arm did not correlate with functional FIM (P=0.100; r=−0.344) at hospital discharge.
Conclusions: Critically ill patients can experience pathological muscle weakness associated with increased muscular echogenicity in the upper arm. Additionally, the degree of muscular echogenicity in the upper arm correlated with the MRC sum score and can facilitate early detection of ICU-AW. The relationship between echogenicity and functional outcome at discharge requires elucidation.
Objectives: This study examined the immediate effects of neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) on the dynamics of oropharyngeal structure and laryngeal vestibular closure (LVC) in healthy subjects.
Methods: Ten healthy male volunteers participated in this controlled, before-and-after, videofluoroscopic swallowing pilot study. The study was conducted in four phases (each performed twice): (1) saliva swallow (SS) before evaluation (BEFORE), (2) NMES while at rest with no SS (NMES AT REST), (3) SS during NMES (DURING NMES), and (4) SS to examine the aftereffects of NMES (AFTER). We measured distances that oropharyngeal structures moved in the NMES AT REST phase, and we analyzed the kinematics of saliva swallowing primarily in the BEFORE and AFTER phases.
Results: Four changes in the morphology of the oropharyngeal structure caused by NMES AT REST were statistically significant: anterior–upward displacement of the hyoid bone and larynx, stretch of the laryngeal vestibule, and posterior ridge of the tongue root. Regarding the kinematics measured during SS, although there was no significant change in LVC reaction times, LVC duration in the AFTER phase was significantly longer than BEFORE. Regarding maximal displacement of the hyoid bone, there was significantly greater movement AFTER than BEFORE. As additional exploratory outcomes, the velocity of hyoid bone movement was significantly slower, and the hyoid-to-larynx approximation was significantly smaller, DURING NMES than AFTER.
Conclusions: Longer duration of LVC might be caused by adaptive learning with NMES-induced structural changes in the oropharynx. Further clinical studies are warranted to determine whether this approach improves dysphagia, which impairs LVC.
Objectives: Patients with mild to moderate COVID-19 who require hospitalization are prone to physical inactivity. This study examined the impact of mild to moderate COVID-19 on the activities of daily living (ADLs) of patients who received rehabilitation therapy.
Methods: Between February 1, 2020, and January 31, 2021, of 216 patients with mild to moderate COVID-19, 36 were selected for rehabilitation therapy. Of these, 28 received direct rehabilitation therapy, whereas 7 were discharged before rehabilitation therapy could start and 1 carried out indirect rehabilitation. The Barthel Index (BI) scores at the beginning and the end of therapy were compared in 18 patients (10 patients who did not undergo a final BI evaluation were excluded).
Results: In total, 27 of the 28 patients receiving direct rehabilitation therapy were more than 65 years of age or had underlying diseases. The BI score decreased in 6 patients and was maintained or improved in 12 patients. However, the 6 patients with decreased BI scores after rehabilitation therapy had significantly higher BI values at the start of therapy (P=0.014).
Conclusions: It was considered that the isolated environment of these COVID-19 patients likely resulted in a decrease in activity levels, leading to a decrease in ADLs. Older adults with mild to moderate COVID-19 need to reduce their isolation as much as possible to ensure adequate activity levels.
Objectives: This study investigated the impact of the initial outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on rehabilitation and functional outcomes of patients in Japanese hospitals.
Methods: The study subjects were hospitals belonging to Japan’s National Hospital Organization that provided inpatient care for patients with coronavirus COVID-19 during March–May 2020. We specifically focused on patients who were hospitalized for acute diseases, such as stroke, hip fracture, acute myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and received rehabilitation during hospitalization. Data were sourced from Japanese administrative data. The primary outcome was rehabilitation provision time in the target hospitals. The secondary outcomes were patient outcomes: rehabilitation participation time, length of hospital stay, 30-day readmission rate, and improvement of activities of daily living. Interrupted time series analysis was performed to evaluate the trend of rehabilitation provision time. Patient outcomes were compared with those for 2019.
Results: The rehabilitation provision time for outpatients declined by 62% during the pandemic, while that for inpatients declined temporarily, and then increased. Compared with 2019 outcomes, rehabilitation participation time was longer and hospital stay length was shorter for stroke and hip-fracture patients, the 30-day readmission rate was increased for hip-fracture patients, and improvement of activities in daily living was less for patients with congestive heart failure who were totally dependent at admission. Other outcomes did not change.
Conclusions: The findings suggest that during the initial COVID-19 pandemic, resources for rehabilitation were quickly reallocated to inpatient care, and the impact on inpatient outcomes was minimized.
Objectives: Pain neuroscience education (PNE) has been shown to be effective in reducing pain in people with chronic musculoskeletal pain. Knowledge of pain physiology is necessary to undertake PNE, and a measure for such knowledge is necessary. The Knowledge and Attitudes of Pain (KNAP), a comprehensive assessment of knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs regarding pain for healthcare practitioners, was developed in 2020 through the assessment of construct validity, reliability, and responsiveness in Dutch and English. This study aimed to conduct cross-cultural adaptation of the KNAP into Japanese and to verify test–retest reliability among Japanese undergraduate physical therapy and occupational therapy students.
Methods: Cross-cultural adaptation was performed using Beaton’s five-step process. Subsequently, the KNAP was completed by participants with a 2-week interval. The study included second-, third-, and fourth-year undergraduate physical therapy and occupational therapy students.
Results: A total of 50 students participated in the pilot test and a Japanese version of KNAP was created. Thirty-nine students completed the Japanese version of KNAP twice. Of the 30 items on the KNAP, the quadratic weighted kappa value was less than 0.4 for only one item (item 15), but reliability was interpreted as sufficient for the overall score, with an intraclass correlation coefficient (95% confidence interval) for the total score of 0.89 (0.80–0.94).
Conclusions: This study has developed the Japanese KNAP, which has shown preliminary evidence of adequate test–retest reliability in Japanese undergraduate physical therapy and occupational therapy students.
Objectives: The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between depression and heart rate variability (HRV) in rehabilitation ward inpatients.
Methods: Depression was assessed using the Self-Rating Depression Scale (SDS) in 10 inpatients in a convalescent rehabilitation ward. We also measured R–R intervals during nighttime rest, evaluated HRV by frequency analysis, and confirmed the association between autonomic activity and depression by calculation of Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient.
Results: A negative correlation was found between depression and the very low-frequency (VLF) band of HRV (ρ=−0.70, P<0.05). SDS showed no significant correlation with low-frequency (LF) band (ρ=−0.32, P=0.36) or high-frequency (HF) band (ρ=−0.21, P=0.46).
Conclusions: The results of this study suggest that the VLF band of HRV may be an effective indicator of autonomic activity in the evaluation of depression. Further studies are needed to verify the usefulness of the VLF band of HRV as an indicator for detecting depression.
Objectives : Many stroke patients experience motor and cognitive dysfunctions that make living at home challenging. We aimed to identify the factors associated with hospital discharge to home in older stroke patients in convalescent rehabilitation wards where intensive and comprehensive inpatient rehabilitation are performed following acute-phase treatment.
Methods : A retrospective cohort study was conducted among 1227 older stroke patients registered in the database of the Council of Kaga Local Stroke Network, Japan, between 2015 and 2019. Patients’ basic characteristics, discharge destination, type and severity of stroke, cognitive status, and activities of daily living (ADL) including continence were evaluated.
Results : The proportion of subjects discharged to home was 62.3%. The mean hospital stay in the home discharge group was shorter than that in the non-home discharge group (111 days vs. 144.6 days, P <0.001). The following factors were associated with discharge to home: age (adjusted odds ratio [AOR]: 2.801, 95% confidence interval [CI] [1.473, 2.940]; P <0.001), sex (AOR: 1.513, 95% CI [1.112, 2.059]), stroke type (AOR: 1.426, 95% CI [1.013, 2.007]), low cognitive status (AOR: 3.750, 95% CI [2.615, 5.379]), low level of bladder control (AOR: 2.056, 95% CI [1.223, 3.454]), and low level of bowel control (AOR: 2.823, 95% CI [1.688, 4.722]).
Conclusions : Age, sex, stroke type, cognitive function, and ADL scores for bladder and bowel control were associated with discharge to home. Improving continence management regarding both voiding and defecation may be a promising care strategy to promote hospital discharge to home in older stroke patients.
Objectives: Advances in cancer treatment have led to extended survival, and, as a result, the number of patients with bone metastases is increasing. Activities of daily living (ADL) decrease with bone metastasis and the need for rehabilitation is increasing. This study examined the effects of rehabilitation in patients with bone metastases.
Methods: We retrospectively reviewed data of cancer patients with bone metastasis who received rehabilitation between 2016 and 2018. Efficacy of rehabilitation was evaluated in 92 patients as the change in the Functional Independence Measure (FIM) score divided by rehabilitation days (FIM change/day) and assessed by different metastatic sites.
Results: Overall FIM scores significantly improved after rehabilitation. Moreover, FIM change/day improved in patients with pelvic metastases (n=44) more than in patients with other metastatic sites (n=48) (P=0.015). In FIM motor components, improvements in toilet, tub/shower, walk/wheelchair, and stairs were significantly greater in patients with pelvic metastasis than in those with other metastasis sites.
Conclusions: Rehabilitation improved ADL status to a greater extent in patients with pelvic metastases than in those with other metastasis sites. Patients with pelvic metastases may fear fractures, limiting their ADL, but rehabilitation could eliminate this fear and improve FIM.
Objectives: Hip fracture is a common injury occurring in elderly people and often impairs their activities of daily living (ADL). This study aimed to identify and analyze factors associated with ADL following hip fracture treatment.
Methods: A total of 371 consecutive patients with hip fractures who were surgically treated in our hospital were enrolled. Among these, 103 patients who underwent acute- to recovery-phase postoperative rehabilitation at our hospital and whose motor scale of the functional independence measure (mFIM) score was ≥70 before the fracture were finally included in this study. Single and multiple regression analyses were performed to identify the factors correlated with ADL. The mFIM at hospital discharge was set as the outcome variable, and various clinical factors, such as fracture type, surgical technique, serum and biological data, mini-mental state examination (MMSE) score, and serial mFIM scores, were used as explanatory variables.
Results: Only MMSE and preinjury mFIM scores were significantly correlated with mFIM at discharge, and MMSE had the larger effect on the outcome. Receiver operating characteristic curve analysis revealed an MMSE cutoff value of 20/21. Patients with an MMSE score of ≤20 showed a relatively poor recovery of mFIM from 2–3 weeks postoperatively compared with those with an MMSE score of ≥21.
Conclusion: Cognitive impairment and the preinjury ADL level were correlated with short-term ADL outcomes following hip fracture. Cognitive impairment was the most important factor affecting ADL; treatment and postoperative rehabilitation should be carefully considered for cognitively disturbed patients from the acute phase after hip fracture.
Pharmacotherapy is important in older patients undergoing rehabilitation because such patients, especially those with frailty and physical disabilities, are susceptible to drug-related functional impairment. Drug-related problems include polypharmacy, potentially inappropriate medications (PIMs), and potential prescription omissions. These problems are associated with adverse drug events such as dysphagia, depression, drowsiness, falls and fractures, incontinence, decreased appetite, and Parkinson’s syndrome, leading to impaired improvement in activities of daily living (ADL), quality of life (QOL), and nutritional status. Moreover, the anticholinergic burden is associated with impaired physical and cognitive functions. Therefore, pharmacist-centered multidisciplinary pharmacotherapy should be performed to maximize rehabilitation outcomes. Pharmacotherapy includes a review of all medications, the assessment of drug-related problems, goal setting, correction of polypharmacy and PIMs, monitoring of drug prescriptions, and reassessment of drug-related problems. The goal of pharmacotherapy in rehabilitation medicine is to optimize drug prescribing and to maximize the improvement of ADL and QOL as patient outcomes. The role of pharmacists during rehabilitation is to treat patients as part of multidisciplinary teams and as key members of nutritional support teams. In this review, we aim to highlight existing evidence regarding pharmacotherapy in older adults, including drug-related functional impairment and the association between pharmacotherapy and functional, cognitive, and nutritional outcomes among patients undergoing rehabilitation. In addition, we highlight the important role of pharmacists in maximizing improvements in rehabilitation outcomes and minimizing drug-related adverse effects.
Objectives: The purposes of the present study were to describe stroke survivors’ experiences and to identify their support needs when faced with decisions about rehabilitation.
Methods: Based on the Ottawa Decision Support Framework needs assessment, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 15 stroke survivors. The degree of participation in decision-making and anxiety were assessed quantitatively. All interview transcripts describing their experiences and emotions were qualitatively analyzed.
Results: All participants had hemiplegia but could perform their daily activities unassisted. Most participants played an active role in decision-making, but 13 patients felt some anxiety when choosing chronic-phase rehabilitation programs. Qualitative analysis identified 19 codes, of which 13 were categorized into the four factors of knowledge, values, certainty, and support. The codes related to patient feelings of anxiety and insecurity about making decisions were “lack of information about options,” difficulty in “selecting appropriate information,” and “lack of support” from medical staff. Trustworthy specialist support and prior knowledge of rehabilitation were identified as factors that could help patients feel more secure about making decisions.
Conclusions: To support stroke survivors in their decision-making about rehabilitation, each patient should be given a long-term perspective on stroke rehabilitation and sufficient information on rehabilitation options tailored to their individual needs. Decision aids for stroke survivors built on these findings will be used in clinical practice, and their efficacy will be verified in future studies.
Objectives: This cross-sectional study sought to examine gender dissimilarities in factors and structures associated with life-space mobility (LSM) in community-dwelling older people.
Methods: This study included a total of 294 older people living in Okawa, Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan. The subjects’ body mass index (BMI) and skeletal muscle mass index (SMI) were evaluated. Furthermore, the age, gender, and LSM of the participants were assessed. LSM was assessed using a framework based on social isolation, fall self-efficacy, mobility, cognitive function, and lower limb muscle strength. Path analysis was performed to assess LSM-associated factors and their respective effect sizes (ESs), and male and female LSM models were established.
Results: Path analysis identified SMI and social isolation as direct factors and cognitive function as an indirect factor associated with LSM in both men and women. In the male LSM model, the direct factors in descending order of ES were BMI, social isolation, SMI, and lower limb muscle strength. In the female model, the direct factors in descending order of ES were age, fall self-efficacy, mobility, social isolation, and SMI; age was noted as having an indirect effect on the remaining associated factors.
Conclusions: This study clarified the gender differences in factors influencing LSM and the underlying structure of LSM mediation by these factors. Therefore, gender differences should be considered when planning interventions aimed at improving the LSM and general well-being of older people, particularly for community-dwelling individuals.
Background: Advances in cancer treatment have led to an increase in the number of cancer survivors and, likewise, cancer patients in convalescent rehabilitation wards. It is difficult for patients with bone metastases to recover their motor functions and be discharged. However, cancer treatments, such as anti-cancer drug therapy and radiation therapy, are not generally provided in convalescent rehabilitation wards.
Cases: This study retrospectively reviewed six cases of bone metastases in our convalescent rehabilitation ward from April 2018 to October 2019. The ages of the patients ranged from 58 to 85 years, and all patients were male. The primary cancers were lung cancer (two cases), renal cancer (one case), esophageal cancer (one case), prostate cancer (one case), and double lung and kidney cancer (one case). Bone metastases were observed in the spine (six cases), pelvis (two cases), and femur (one case). All patients were admitted to our convalescent rehabilitation ward for postoperative management of imminent fracture risk and rehabilitation of pathological fracture or spinal cord compression caused by bone metastasis. None of the patients received treatment for primary cancer or bone metastases during their hospitalization. Two patients had new bone metastases in load-bearing bones. Five patients were transferred to acute care hospitals for the treatment of cancer or infection.
Discussion: Before transferring patients with bone metastases to convalescent rehabilitation wards, clinicians should assess the risk of skeletal-related events and the rate of progression of their cancer. Indications for hospitalization should be carefully determined in cooperation with acute care hospitals.
Objectives: Using Functional Independence Measure (FIM) records, this study used latent class analysis (LCA) to clarify the structure of activities of daily living (ADL) status in patients following stroke.
Methods: In this retrospective, single-center study, we extracted the medical records of patients with stroke who were admitted to a rehabilitation hospital in Japan between April 2018 and March 2020. LCA was used to determine classes of ADL status based on response patterns in FIM items converted from the original seven levels to three levels: Complete Dependence, FIM1–2; Modified Dependence, FIM3–5; Independence, FIM6–7. We compared the length of stay and discharge destinations among subgroups of patients with different ADL status at admission.
Results: From 373 patients, 1592 FIM records were analyzed. These were classified into six ADL status classes based on “Complete Dependence,” “Modified Dependence,” and “Independence” in the motor and cognitive domains. Significant differences were observed among the six admission ADL subgroups for the length of stay (median values in patient subgroups based on admission ADL status: 126, 146, 90, 65, 44, and 29 days in the Motor Complete/Cognitive Complete, Motor Complete/Cognitive Modified, Motor Modified/Cognitive Modified, Motor Modified/Cognitive Independent, Motor Independent/Cognitive Modified, and Motor Independent/Cognitive Independent groups, respectively) and discharge destinations (patients discharged home: 27%, 62%, 81%, 92%, 95%, and 98%, respectively, and to acute care hospitals: 18%, 14%, 8%, 8%, 2%, and 2%, respectively).
Conclusions: LCA successfully stratified ADL status in patients with stroke undergoing rehabilitation and may aid in determining an appropriate treatment regimen.
Background: There are no reports on the therapeutic application of perceptive exploration activity in patients with unilateral spatial neglect (USN). This study monitored the course of acute occupational therapy using perceptive exploration activities in a patient with USN who had difficulty in manipulating tools for daily living after a stroke.
Case: A 70-year-old man was admitted to our hospital for conservative treatment of hemiparesis and USN caused by stroke. He was previously diagnosed with cerebral infarction due to middle cerebral artery occlusion. His main symptoms were hemiparesis, egocentric spatial neglect in personal space and peripersonal space, and allocentric neglect, which made it difficult to use tools for daily living. Within 24 h of admission, perceptive exploration activities were initiated as the main therapy in addition to preparatory therapies, such as the facilitation of selective movement of limbs affected by paralysis. These therapies were provided over a 30-day period in 40-min sessions, 5 days a week. This treatment resulted in improved test results for the Fugl-Meyer Assessment, Bisiach’s body neglect and anosognosia scales, and the Behavioral Inattention Test. The Functional Independence Measure scores also improved with the improvement of neglect symptoms.
Discussion: This case study monitored the improvements of egocentric spatial neglect and allocentric neglect during therapy using perceptive exploration activities in a patient with USN who had difficulty manipulating tools for daily living. The effectiveness of the therapy should be confirmed by increasing the sample size in future studies.
Objectives: We investigated the clinical situation of fractures that occurred in patients in the severely disabled patients’ ward of our hospital. The study aimed to identify risk factors for the occurrence of long bone fractures in the extremities, which pose problems in nursing care.
Methods: We retrospectively studied fractures that occurred between April 2015 and March 2021 among a total of 126 patients in the severely disabled patients’ ward of our hospital. The fracture site, frequency of occurrence, cause of injury, and other parameters were investigated. We statistically compared the fracture group and non-fracture group with respect to age, sex, body position before fracture, motor function, food intake status, body mass index, use of anti-epileptic drugs, hip dislocation, and maximum extension angle and range of motion of elbow/knee joints.
Results: Among 126 patients, a total of 35 fractures occurred in 28 patients (22%). There were 19 long bone fractures of the extremities in 17 patients. Multiple logistic regression analysis using the occurrence of long bone fractures of the extremities as the objective variable identified the following significant independent variables: age [odds ratio (OR)=1.087, P=0.008], maximum extension angle of the elbow joint (OR=1.039, P=0.023), range of motion of the elbow joint (OR=0.940, P=0.003), and range of motion of the knee joint (OR=0.972, P=0.034).
Conclusions: This study reveals that older age and flexion contracture of elbow and knee joints are risk factors for the occurrence of long bone fractures in severely disabled patients.
Background: Esophageal cancer is increasing in incidence in Japan and is usually treated by radical surgery. However, pulmonary complications are a major cause of perioperative mortality. Here we report a case in which bilateral pneumothorax after thoracoscopic esophagectomy was managed successfully by a combination of chest physiotherapy, mobilization, and delayed oral intake.
Case: The patient was a 72-year-old man with a diagnosis of lower thoracic esophageal cancer and a medical history that included chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. He underwent thoracoscopic and laparoscopic subtotal esophagectomy and two-field lymphadenectomy. On postoperative day (POD) 1, he was diagnosed as having bilateral pneumothorax. An additional drainage tube was inserted in the right chest. Chest physiotherapy was started using a combination of methods, including diaphragmatic breathing, respiratory muscle stretching, and postural drainage. Mobilization was started on POD 2 but was limited to sitting upright and standing. On POD 5, gentle walking training (Borg Scale score, 9–11) was started when air leakage from the drain was observed only during expiration. Oral food intake was resumed on POD 9, by which time the pneumothorax had resolved completely. The patient was discharged on POD 27 with near-complete independence in activities of daily living.
Discussion: We successfully managed the rehabilitation of a patient diagnosed with bilateral pneumothorax after esophagectomy. In a tailored strategy, we took the following measures to avoid worsening the pneumothorax and other surgery-related pulmonary complications: chest physiotherapy, avoiding procedures that increase intrathoracic pressure; delayed mobilization and reduced intensity of exercise; and delayed oral intake.
Objectives: Wearable devices such as fitness trackers have become popular in the healthcare field. Tracking heart rate and respiratory rate, in addition to physical activity, may provide an accurate picture of daily health. We believe that a combination of two types of devices can simultaneously measure and record physical activity, heart rate, and respiratory rate. However, the measurement accuracies of these two types of devices are not clear. This study aimed to determine the measurement accuracies of two wearable devices for heart and respiratory rate measurements.
Methods: Ten healthy men performed incremental load tests (ILTs) and constant load tests (CLTs) on a cycle ergometer. The heart and respiratory rates were measured using wrist-worn (Silmee W22, TDK, Japan, Tokyo) and respiratory tracking devices (Spire Stone, Spire Health, San Francisco, CA, USA), respectively. A 12-lead electrocardiograph and the breath-by-breath method were used as external standards for heart and respiratory rates, respectively.
Results: Bland–Altman analysis showed that heart rate had a fixed bias at rest and during ILT and CLT and had a proportional bias during CLT. The standard error values of the regression at rest and during CLT were less than 10 bpm for heart rate and less than 5.0 /min for respiratory rate. During ILT, the standard error was greater than 10 bpm for heart rate and approximately 5.0 /min for respiratory rate.
Conclusions: The heart and respiratory rate measurements obtained using wearable devices were accurate within the practical margin of error.
Objectives: This study aimed to describe the rehabilitation characteristics of patients with acute stage coronavirus disease managed with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) in the intensive care unit.
Methods: This retrospective study enrolled coronavirus disease patients who underwent rehabilitation following ECMO between April 21, 2020, and August 20, 2021. The following patient data were evaluated: age, sex, weaning, peak C-reactive protein, lowest albumin level, white blood cell count, use of steroids and muscle relaxants, duration of respiratory management, ECMO management and rehabilitation, Medical Research Council (MRC) score, and Barthel index after sedation and at discharge.
Results: ECMO was performed in 20 patients, and 16 were weaned successfully. The median durations of ECMO and respiratory management in survivors were 14.5 and 38 days, respectively. The median MRC scores after sedation and after rehabilitation therapy were 18 and 45, respectively. The median rehabilitation duration after sedation was 14 days. The MRC score after sedation showed significant correlations with the durations of ECMO and intubation. The median Barthel index values after sedation and at discharge were 0 and 30, respectively.
Conclusions: Rehabilitation was important for patients with severe coronavirus disease because muscle weakness advanced in proportion with the durations of ECMO and ventilation management in the intensive care unit.