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ISSN: 0860-6161
Advances in Rehabilitation
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vol. 31
Original paper

A method of hand motor control assessment in patients with post-stroke spasticity

Jolanta Zwolińska
Mariusz Drużbicki
Lidia Perenc
Andrzej Kwolek

Postępy Rehabilitacji (3), 55 – 70, 2017
Online publish date: 2018/01/30
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In order to assess hand spasticity in post-stroke patients, it is necessary to apply an objective and sensitive method which allows for characterising motor control. It is significant due to the necessity to monitor the effects of the therapeutic process according to the requirements of Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM). The aim of the study was to assess the usefulness of the measurement of pressure generated during a maximal palmar grasp and after its release for evaluating the level of hand motor control in poststroke patients compared to subjective scales.

Material and methods
In order to characterise motor control, a numerical indicator calculated on the basis of the measurements of pressure generated during a maximal palmar grasp and after its release was suggested. To perform the measurements, 12 poststroke patients with hemiparesis were included in the study. In the research, the level of hand paresis was assessed with Brunnström Approach, the intensity of spasticity was graded with Modified Ashworth Scale, while hand motor function was classified with Fugl-Meyer Assessment (FMA). Pressure generated during a palmar grasp and after its release as well as palm area were measured with the use of a photometric method. The assessment was made twice, i.e. on the day of admission to the in-patient rehabilitation ward and after a three-week hospital treatment.

In the second measurement, a slight decrease in paresis intensity according to Brunnström Approach and lower intensity of spasticity according to Ashworth Scale were noted. A higher number of points in the FMA scale was observed. The values of the suggested indicator changed; however, in no case were these changes statistically significant.

1. Compared to other subjective scales, the usefulness of the measurement of pressure generated during a maximal palmar grasp and after its release for assessing the level of hand motor control in post-stroke patients was not confirmed. 2. The usefulness of the recommended method of spastic hand motor control assessment needs to be verified in further research carried out according to EBM requirements.


spasticity, hand, palmar grasp, stroke

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