Systematic review of orthoses for stroke-induced upper extremity deficits

Kevin Pritchard*, Jessica Edelstein, Elizabeth Zubrenic, Lea Tsao, Kelsey Pustina, Mark Berendsen, Eileen Wafford

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: Orthoses for individuals with stroke is considered an integral part of the neurorehabilitation process. However, there are no universal guidelines to determine the initiation period, duration, or type of orthosis for stroke patients. Objectives: For this study, we systematically reviewed the evidence surrounding the use of orthoses for stroke-related upper extremity deficits. Methods: Medical librarians searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Cochrane Controlled Trials Register, Health Technology Assessment Database, Physiotherapy Evidence Database, and OTSeeker using subject headings and keywords related to upper extremities, orthoses, and stroke. The resulting articles were evaluated for inclusion by the systematic review team. Articles that met the inclusion criteria were appraised for content and quality using the “Evaluation Guidelines for Rating the Quality of an Intervention Study” (EQIS). Results: 14 studies were included, with the mean score of 31.29 (out of 48) for the EQIS using an ordinal scale with a range of 23–43.6 studies produced significant outcomes with effect sizes ranging from d =.52 (wrist flexion PROM) to d = 9.02 (patient satisfaction with orthosis). Conclusion: Future studies should aim to utilize homogenous outcome measures while exploring variability in dosage and level of upper extremity impairment upon initiation. Additionally, universal guidelines for initiation period, duration, and type of orthosis for patients post-stroke need to be established.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)389-398
Number of pages10
JournalTopics in stroke rehabilitation
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 4 2019


  • Stroke
  • orthosis
  • rehabilitation
  • systematic review
  • upper extremity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Community and Home Care
  • Rehabilitation


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