OBJECTIVE: Tele-assessment techniques can provide healthcare professionals with easily accessible information regarding patients' clinical progress. Recently, kinematic analysis systems have been used to assess rehabilitative outcomes in stroke patients. Kinematic systems, however, are not compatible with tele-assessment. The objective of our study was to develop a tele-assessment system for acquiring kinematic data of forward reaching movements in stroke patients, with an emphasis on cost-effectiveness, portability, and ease of use.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We selected four healthy control participants and eight hemiplegic stroke patients for our study. The stroke patients were classified as Brunnstrom stage III, stage IV, or stage V. Our tele-assessment system used two three-axes accelerometers, a potentiometer, a multifunctional data acquisition card, and two computers. A standardized kinematic system was applied simultaneously to validate the measurements recorded by our tele-assessment system during five repetitions of forward reaching movements.
RESULTS: The correlation coefficients of the reaching displacement, velocity, and acceleration measurements obtained using our tele-assessment system and the standardized kinematic system were 0.956, 0.896, and 0.727, respectively. Differences in the maximum reaching distance and the maximum reaching velocity of forward reaching movements were observed among the study groups. There were no significant differences in the time required to complete the testing session among the study groups.
CONCLUSIONS: Our tele-assessment system is valid for the evaluation of upper-extremity reaching ability in stroke patients. Further research is needed to investigate the feasibility of the use of the tele-assessment system in patients' homes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Informatics
- Health Information Management