Effectiveness of a dynamic wrist-hand orthosis in early outpatient rehabilitation of the upper extremity post stroke: a multiple single subject design evaluation
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Problem: Although early intensive therapy is important for those with upper extremity deficits after stroke, use of the SaeboFlex orthosis to assist with recovery after discharge from inpatient rehabilitation has not been studied. Methods: This mixed methods study evaluated the effectiveness of the SaeboFlex orthosis in improving upper extremity function, strength, movement, spasticity and occupational performance when used with two participants after inpatient stroke rehabilitation and while waiting for outpatient occupational therapy. Results: Significant improvements occurred in most of the quantitative outcome measures for both participants, with many of the improvements occurring during the first four weeks of the intervention. Four ‘person’ themes and one ‘context’ theme emerged from the qualitative data that supported the quantitative improvements. Conclusions: Early continued intervention with a SaeboFlex orthosis resulted in improved upper extremity outcomes. Further research is needed to determine whether improvements are seen with a larger sample and are maintained over time.