Design, development and clinical assessment of therapeutic and prognostic method and technology for the rehabilitation of the upper limb of stroke survivors in acute and sub-acute phases
Regione Toscana under the Regional Health Research Programme (2009)
The EARLYREHAB project is a research project whose clinical, scientific and technological results will contribute to answer to some worldwide debated questions: does the early mobilization of upper limb of stroke survivors during the acute and sub-acute phases improve the outcomes of the rehabilitation therapy compared with conventional care? Is it possible to prognosticate the results of a neuro-rehabilitation therapy during the sub-acute phase? May the early mobilization after the stroke event be suitable for a large proportion of the stroke population? Which are the clinical characteristics of the patients who can most benefit from the treatment? Could such early mobilization contribute to an improved psychological well-being (i.e. reduction of depressive symptoms)?
Main objectives of the project are :
1. To define a rehabilitation method based on early mobilization of post-stroke patient’s upper-limb during the acute and sub-acute phases and to evaluate its rehabilitation outcomes;
2. To design and develop a bedside robotic orthesis able to assist the movements of the patient’s hand-wrist-elbow-shoulder. It will be a safe, comfortable, and modular system composed of hand-wrist, and elbow-shoulder modules;
3. To define a patient-therapy-outcome model able to prognosticate the results of the therapy;
4. To improve the recovery of the patient’s upper limb motor abilities;
5. To improve the patient’s motivation to participate in the rehabilitation treatment;
6. To evaluate the impact of the early mobilization using the bedside robotic orthesis on the potential reduction of direct and indirect healthcare costs.
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