Afferent stimulation provided by glove electrode during task-specific arm exercise following stroke

Jane E. Sullivan*, Donna Hurley, Lois D. Hedman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Background: Sensory amplitude electrical stimulation (SES) and repetitive task practice reduce impairments and arm dysfunction when delivered separately following stroke. Objective: To determine if home-based, task-specific arm exercise was more effective when administered concurrent with SES. Methods: Thirty-eight subjects with chronic stroke and mean Fugl-Meyer Assessment (FMA) score 28/66 (1545) participated. Subjects were randomly assigned to an SES (n = 20) or sham stimulation (n = 18) group. Subjects engaged in task-based home exercise for 30 minutes, twice daily, for four weeks while wearing a glove electrode on the impaired hand. Experimental subjects received SES while control subjects received sham stimulation during exercise. Primary outcome measures: FMA and Arm Motor Ability Test (AMAT). Results: There were no significant between-group differences for outcome measures. There was a significant difference between the pre- and post-test scores in the SES group AMAT median time (P = 0.003 95% confidence interval (CI): 14.304, 6.365; effect size: 0.84). Practice time was not associated with changes in outcomes. Subjects with more sensorimotor dysfunction had significantly greater improvements on AMAT median time (P = 0.037). There was a significant relationship between baseline FMA score and FMA change score (r = 0.402; P = 0.006). Conclusions: This study describes a unique SES delivery system via glove electrode that enabled delivery of SES during home-based arm task practice in stroke survivors. Task practice with concurrent SES did not demonstrate significantly better effects than task practice with sham stimulation, however there was a trend for greater improvement in one activity measure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1010-1020
Number of pages11
JournalClinical Rehabilitation
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2012


  • Arm
  • electrical stimulation
  • stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation


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