A RANDOMIZED CONTROL TRIAL OF A MOTOR RELEARNING PROGRAM (MRP) IN FUNCTIONAL BALANCE FOR IMPROVING FUNCTION AFTER STROKE
 
Chan, Y.L., Au, K.S. and Chan, C.H., Kowloon Hospital, Hong Kong
 
This study examined the efficacy of a functional balance-training program for patients with stroke based on the Motor Relearning Theory (Carr & Shepherd, 1987a). 52 patients with stroke in an outpatient rehabilitation centre were matched in pairs with demographic characteristics and then, randomly assigned to either an experimental or a control group. They received the functional balance-training program or the conventional occupational therapy for six weeks. All patients were assessed at admission, 2 weeks, 4-weeks and 6-weeks with the Berg's Balance Scale (BBS), Timed Up and Go Test, the Functional Independence Measure (FIM), the Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL) Assessment of Elderly and the Community Integration Questionnaire (CIQ). The efficacy of the MRP was supported with significant differences in all the measurement parameters of patients between the experimental and control groups (F(9,23)=4.55, p<.001) and within each of the two groups (F(27,23)=5.38, p<.001). Multiple comparison tests indicated that the patients in the experimental group had significant and steady improvements in functional balance across all assessment intervals. The MRP with functional linked remedial activities appeared to be useful in enhancing the patients balance performance with effective generalization on independent functioning at home and community integration. This application adds theoretical and operational enrichment to the Motor Relearning Theory. The results of this study also provided scientific foundation for evidence based occupational therapy in stroke rehabilitation.