Exploring the utility of analogies in motor learning after stroke: a feasibility study.
te Lintel Hekkert, F
International Journal of Rehabilitation Research
Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins
© 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
Individuals who have experienced a stroke need to (re)learn motor skills. Analogy learning has been shown to facilitate motor learning in sports and may also be an attractive alternative to traditional approaches in therapy. The aim of this study was to assess the feasibility and utility of analogies to improve the walking performance in long-term stroke survivors. Three men aged 76, 87 and 70 years who were 6, 1 and 3 years poststroke, respectively, presented with different walking deficits. An analogy, targeted at improving the walking performance was designed with the help of each participant. During a 3-week intervention period, the analogy was practiced once weekly under supervision and daily at home. To assess feasibility, a structured interview was conducted at the end of the intervention period. To assess utility, walking performance was assessed using the 10-Metre Walking Test. All three participants were supportive of the feasibility and benefits of analogy learning. Two of the participants had a meaningful improvement on the 10-Metre Walking Test (0.1 and 0.3 m/s). The third participant did not improve most likely because of medication issues during the week of the retest. Developing analogies in therapy is a creative and challenging process, as analogies must not only guide the correct movement pattern, but also be meaningful to the individual. However, as participants were supportive of the use of analogies, and positive trends were seen in walking speed it seems worthwhile to pursue the use of analogies in future research.
This study is financially supported by Stichting Alliantie Innovatie (Innovation Alliance Foundation), RAAK-international (Registration number: 2011-3-33int). VG is supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Collaboration for Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC) for the South West Peninsula.
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
This is the accepted version of the paper which was published in the International Journal of Rehabilitation and Research. Please cite the published version available via the DOI in this record.
International Journal of Rehabilitation Research, 2014, Vol. 37 (3), pp. 277 - 280
Place of publication