Upper Extremity Contralaterally Controlled Functional Electrical Stimulation Versus Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation in Post-Stroke Individuals: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

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Abstract

Background: Electrical stimulation has been employed as a safe and effective therapy for improving arm function after stroke. Contralaterally controlled functional electrical stimulation (CCFES) is a unique method that has progressed from application in small feasibility studies to implementation in several randomized controlled trials. However, no meta-analysis has been conducted to summarize its efficacy. Objective: To summarize the effect size of CCFES through measures of upper extremity motor recovery compared with that of neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES). Methods: The PubMed, Cochrane Library, EMBASE, Scopus, and Google Scholar databases were searched. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) were selected and subjected to meta-analysis and risk of bias assessment. Results: 6 RCTs were selected and 267 participants were included. The Upper Extremity Fugl-Meyer assessment (UEFMA) was included in all studies, the Box and Blocks test (BBT) and active range of motion (AROM) were included in 3 and 4 studies, respectively. The modified Barthel Index (mBI) and Arm Motor Abilities Test (AMAT) were included in 2 and 3 studies, respectively. The CCFES group demonstrated greater improvement than the NMES did in UEFMA (SMD =.42, 95% CI =.07–.76), BBT (SMD =.48, 95% CI =.10–.86), AROM (SMD =.54, 95% CI =.23–.86), and mBI (SMD =.54, 95% CI =.12–.97). However, the results for AMAT did not differ significantly (SMD =.34, 95% CI = −.03–.72). Conclusion: Contralaterally controlled functional electrical stimulation produced greater improvements in upper extremity hemiplegia in people with stroke than NMES did. PROSPERO registration number: CRD42021245831

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)472-482
Number of pages11
JournalNeurorehabilitation and Neural Repair
Volume36
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022

Keywords

  • contralaterally controlled functional electrical stimulation
  • meta-analysis
  • neuromuscular electrical stimulation
  • stroke
  • systematic review
  • upper extremities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

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