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Rehabilitation Research and Practice publishes original research articles and review articles in all areas of physical medicine and rehabilitation.
Rehabilitation Research and Practice maintains an Editorial Board of practicing researchers from around the world, to ensure manuscripts are handled by editors who are experts in the field of study.
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Use of Virtual Reality in Physical Therapy as an Intervention and Diagnostic Tool
Within the past decade, the integration of computer-generated virtual realities (VRs) has witnessed a significant rise in the field of healthcare, particularly in diagnosis and treatment applications. These VR systems have found extensive use in physical therapy, rehabilitation, research, and assessment. This narrative review article is aimed at providing a comprehensive overview of the literature regarding the implementation of VR in the physical therapy profession. The primary objective of this review is to provide information to clinicians about the diverse applications of VR and its potential advantages in intervening across various patient populations and diagnoses during rehabilitation therapy. Through in-depth discussions with experts and a thorough review of pertinent literature, several significant aspects of the topic were identified. Subsequently, we carried out an online search to investigate the prevalent utilization of VR systems within healthcare, both as assessment tools and for therapeutic interventions. Our examination encompassed a total of 56 articles, with supplementary references incorporated as required.
Exercise-Induced Functional Changes in People with Parkinson’s Disease following External Cueing and Task-Based Intervention
Introduction. The purpose of this study was to evaluate change in motor function, gait speed, dynamic balance, balance confidence, and quality of life (QoL) in nine participants with Parkinson’s disease (PwPD) completing Lee Silverman Voice Treatment BIG (LSVT-BIG), an external cueing and task-based intervention. Although supported as an efficacious treatment in PwPD, there is limited research examining clinically meaningful change in outcome measures related to external cueing and task-based interventions. Materials and Methods. This was a case series of nine PwPD (age range 64-76 years, 55% male) who completed the LSVT-BIG protocol. Disease duration ranged from 1 to 17 years and was classified as moderate in all participants ( or 3). Outcome measures included motor function (MDS-UPDRS Part III Motor), gait speed, dynamic balance (MiniBEST), Activities-specific Balance Confidence (ABC), and Summary Index for PD Quality of Life 39 (PDQ-SI). Assessments were completed at baseline (BASE), end of treatment (EOT), and 4 weeks after EOT (EOT+4). Results. Minimal detectable change (MDC) or minimal clinical important difference (MCID) was observed in one or more outcome measures in 8 of 9 participants at EOT and EOT+4 across domains of motor function (67%, 78%), gait speed (78%, 67%), balance confidence (44%, 33%), quality of life (44%, 78%), and dynamic balance (22%, 22%). Discussion. In this case series, 8 of 9 participants showed MDC or MCID changes across multiple functional domains. Improvements were observed immediately post (EOT) and 4-week post-treatment (EOT+4) suggesting a temporal component of the LSVT-BIG impact on functional change. Future research should include clinical trials to examine additional external cueing and task-based intervention efficacy with consideration of intensity, frequency, and mode of delivery across disease severity.
Interrater Reliability of the Spanish (Colombia) Version of the Post-COVID-19 Functional Status Scale
Background. COVID-19 has been one of the most critical public health challenges of recent decades. This disease develops severely in one in five patients, and approximately 5% require admission to a critical care unit. Due to the impact of the sequelae, the Post-COVID-19 Functional Status Scale (PCFS) was developed. This study is aimed at determining the interrater reliability of the Spanish (Colombia) version of the PCFS in adult patients with post-COVID-19 infection. Methods. This is an observational study performed with patients diagnosed with COVID-19. Two evaluators repeated the test-retest of the PCFS scale with knowledge and clinical experience in the care of patients with COVID-19 and had previously applied the test. The PCFS assesses functional limitations at discharge and can be used at 4 and 8 weeks to evaluate practical consequences and determine the degree of disability these patients may have. For interrater reliability, Cronbach’s alpha was applied with its respective confidence interval and the Bland-Altman method. A 95% confidence interval (CI) was taken as the basis for the interpretation of the Intraclass Correlation Coefficient (ICC). Results. A total of 112 adult patients participated in the study, aged years. It was evidenced that the survival, constant care, and activities of daily living questions have an ICC of one (1.000) with an ICC (1.000-1.000), demonstrating excellent reliability, while those close to one were instrumental activities, role participation, symptoms, and final score with an ICC 0.918 to 0.984 and an ICC (0.881-0.989). Thus, a homogeneous distribution of the interrater data was evident. Conclusions. Excellent interobserver reliability of the Spanish (Colombia) version of the PCFS in patients with different degrees of functional status was reported.
An Exploration of the Effectiveness of Different Intensity Protocols of Modified Constraint-Induced Therapy in Stroke: A Systematic Review
Purpose. To examine the effectiveness of different modified Constraint-Inuced Therapy (mCIMT) protocol intensities on upper extremity motor function in adults with hemiplegia. Methods. A search was conducted in PubMed, Scopus, EBSCO, and Cochrane Library for articles published between April 2010 and December 2021. Only randomized controlled trials (RCTs) were included. Studies were excluded if they used a sample of less than five, mCIMT in combination with other therapy, and/or if they were not written in English. Methodologic quality was assessed using the Cochrane collaboration risk of bias tool–2. Results. Thirty-six RCTs with a total of 721 participants were included. Most researchers followed a moderate to low protocol intensity in terms of total treatment time and moderate to high intensity with regard to restriction time. Almost all of the upper limb motor function measures showed statistically significant improvements () after mCIMT, irrespective of the protocol’s intensity, but there was lack of high-quality studies. Statistically significant improvements did not always translate to clinical importance. Conclusions. Low-intensity CIMT protocols may result in comparable improvements to more intensive ones but caution has to be taken when drawing conclusions due to high risk of bias studies.
Healthcare Professionals’ Experiences with Functional Independence Measure (FIM) as a Structured Framework for Interprofessional Team Meetings in Danish Stroke Rehabilitation: A Qualitative Cross-Sectoral Collaborative Study
Purpose. An ethnographic and phenomenological mapping of the experiences of healthcare professionals with the functional independence measure (FIM) in stroke rehabilitation. Methods. This is a cross-sectoral qualitative study with triangulation of data from two focus group interviews, 15 individual interviews, and 11 participant observations of FIM assessments performed by six different healthcare professions in interprofessional teams. FIM assessments were performed at hospital and in a community rehabilitation centre as interprofessional meetings with a local facilitator certified in FIM. Results. Three overarching themes, learning space, improved interprofessional collaboration, and transferability, emerged from the data. The use of FIM within the provided structures established an environment that allowed the various healthcare professionals (HCP) to learn with, about, and from each other. This is perceived as promoting interprofessional collaboration and enhancing patient-specific knowledge within the interprofessional team. The established patient-specific knowledge is specific to the individual team and is difficult to transfer intraorganisationally and across sectors. Conclusion. FIM was a catalyst for improved interprofessional knowledge transfer and interprofessional collaboration within the individual teams, but intraorganisational and cross-sectoral dissemination of patient-specific knowledge was limited.
Improvement of Balance, Motor Aspects, and Activities of Daily Living in Parkinson’s Disease after a Sequential Multimodal Aquatic- and Land-Based Intervention Program
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative, with heterogeneous clinical conditions and motor changes that reduce functioning. Postural instability is one of the motor aspects of disease progression, with a potential increase in the risk of falls, consequently affecting the activities of daily living (ADL). The objective of this study was to verify the influence of a multimodal intervention program (MIP) sequentially applied in aquatic- (AEs) and land-based environments (LEs) on balance, postural control, motor activities, and ADL in people with PD. It is an interventional clinical study with patients in stages 1 to 4 in the Hoehn and Yahr scale, assessed with Berg Balance Scale (BBS), Mini-Balance Evaluation System Test (Mini-BESTest), Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) II and III, Dynamic Gait Index (DGI), and quiet stance (QS) analysis in a force platform. The MIP was conducted sequentially with aquatic- (AIs) and land-based interventions (LIs) for 12 weeks each, twice a week, each session lasting 1 hour, and a 12-week interval between interventions. The comparison analysis was made with Friedman ANOVA, and the multiple comparisons with Wilcoxon signed-rank, Bonferroni correction, and effect size (). The sample comprised 18 people with PD ( years). The AI and the full intervention (FI) had a large effect according to BBS. With Mini-BESTest, the LI and FI had a large effect. According to UPDRS II, the MIP improved ADL after LI, with a medium effect, and the motor aspects of UPDRS III improved after LI and FI, with a large effect. DGI was not sensitive in the analyses, with a ceiling effect after FI. No differences were identified in QS analyses. This research identified improved balance, ADL, and motor aspects in people with PD after sequential MIP in AI and LI, indicating that land-based and aquatic interventions are complementary and advantageous to people with PD.