Viktorija Repšaitė, Daiva Baltaduonienė, Alfonsas Vainoras
A stroke is an acute focal cerebral circulatory disorder characterized by focal neurological symptoms persisting longer than 24 hours from the onset of the disease. The goal of the occupational therapy in patients who have suffered a stroke is to help return the patient‘s physical, mental, social and professional abilities. The differential learning method is an alternative to repeated movements. The aim of the research is to explore the independence and hand muscle force changes of the persons after a stroke using conventional and occupational therapy based on differential learning method. The study involved 27 patients who suffered a stroke, 9 of which were men (33.3 percent) and 18 women (66.7 percent). The age group was between 50 and 85 (average age 72.19 ± 8.02). Prior the study patients were randomly divided into two groups: A – the control group, 13 patients (48.1 percent), B – study group, 14 patients (51.9 percent). At the beginning and the end of the rehabilitation patients were examined by the occupational therapist using dynamometer (left and right hand muscle strength was tested) and the test of Self-observation (International Functioning, Disability and Health classification (ICF) chapter). Before the occupational therapy the control group patients had moderate difficulty in performing self-observation tasks, the study group patients had medium / low difficulty. The findings presented in the article revealed that after the occupational therapy, the results of the study group were statistically significantly different from the results of the control group (p <0.05): the study group patients became independent (had no difficulty to perform the independence tasks), while the control group patients still had low difficulty. This paper also presents the data about the hand muscle power changes of the study and control groups, but statistically significant difference was not found: the right hand muscle strength of the study group increased by 3.78 kg and of the control group by 2.17 kg. The left hand muscle strength of the study group increased by 2.00 kg and of the control group by 2.68 kg.
Keyword(s): stroke, occupational therapy, differential learning, independence
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