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Stroke Research and Treatment
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 546093, 5 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/546093
Research Article

Long-Term Use of a Static Hand-Wrist Orthosis in Chronic Stroke Patients: A Pilot Study

Revant Rehabilitation Centre Breda, Brabantlaan 1, 4817 JW Breda, The Netherlands

Received 11 December 2012; Revised 31 January 2013; Accepted 31 January 2013

Academic Editor: Valery Feigin

Copyright © 2013 Aukje Andringa et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Background. Long-term splinting, using static orthoses to prevent contractures, is widely accepted in stroke patients with paresis of the upper limb. A number of stroke patients complain about increased pain and spasticity, which leads to the nonuse of the orthosis and a risk of developing a clenched fist. Objectives. Evaluating long-term use of static hand-wrist orthoses and experienced comfort in chronic stroke patients. Methods. Eleven stroke patients who were advised to use a static orthosis for at least one year ago were included. Semistructured telephone interviews were conducted to explore the long-term use and experienced comfort with the orthosis. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics. Results. After at least one year, seven patients still wore the orthosis for the prescribed hours per day. Two patients were unable to wear the orthosis 8 hours per day, due to poor comfort. Two patients stopped using the orthosis because of an increase in spasticity or pain. Conclusions. These pilot data suggest that a number of stroke patients cannot tolerate a static orthosis over a long-term period because of discomfort. Without appropriate treatment opportunities, these patients will remain at risk of developing a clenched fist and will experience problems with daily activities and hygiene maintenance.