Effectiveness of interventions to improve hand motor function in individuals with moderate to severe stroke: A systematic review protocol

Hewei Wang, Ray Arceo, Shugeng Chen, Li Ding, Jie Jia, Jun Yao*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Introduction The human hand is extremely involved in our daily lives. However, the rehabilitation of hand function after stroke can be rather difficult due to the complexity of hand structure and function, as well as neural basis that supports hand function. Specifically, in individuals with moderate to severe impairment following a stroke, previous evidence for effective treatments that recover hand function in this population is limited, and thus has never been reviewed. With the progress of rehabilitation science and tool development, results from more and more clinical trials are now available, thereby justifying conducting a systematic review. Methods and analysis This systematic review protocol is consistent with the methodology recommended by the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis Protocols and the Cochrane handbook for systematic reviews of interventions. Electronic searches will be carried out in the PubMed, CINAHL, Physiotherapy Evidence Database and Cochrane Library databases, along with manual searches in the reference lists from included studies and published systematic reviews. The date range parameters used in searching all databases is between January 1999 and January 2019. Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) published in English, with the primary outcome focusing on hand motor function, will be included. Two reviewers will screen all retrieved titles, abstracts and full texts, perform the evaluation of the risk bias and extract all data independently. The risk of bias of the included RCTs will be evaluated by the Cochrane Collaboration's tool. A qualitative synthesis will be provided in text and table, to summarise the main results of the selected publications. A meta-analysis will be considered if there is sufficient homogeneity across outcomes. The quality of the included publications will be evaluated by the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation system from the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions. Ethics and dissemination No ethical approval is needed, and the results of this review will be disseminated via peer-reviewed publications and conference presentations. Trial registration number CRD42019128285.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere032413
JournalBMJ open
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2019


  • hand
  • motor function
  • rehabilitation
  • review protocol
  • stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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