A comparison between electromyography-driven robot and passive motion device on wrist rehabilitation for chronic stroke

Xiaoling Hu, Kai Yu Tong, Rong Song, Xiu Juan Zheng, Woon Fong Leung

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

165 Citations (Scopus)


Background. The effect of using robots to improve motor recovery has received increased attention, even though the most effective protocol remains a topic of study. Objective. The objective was to compare the training effects of treatments on the wrist joint of subjects with chronic stroke with an interactive rehabilitation robot and a robot with continuous passive motion. Methods. This study was a single-blinded randomized controlled trial with a 3-month follow-up. Twenty-seven hemiplegic subjects with chronic stroke were randomly assigned to receive 20-session wrist training with a continuous electromyography (EMG)-driven robot (interactive group, n = 15) and a passive motion device (passive group, n = 12), completed within 7 consecutive weeks. Training effects were evaluated with clinical scores by pretraining and posttraining tests (Fugl-Meyer Assessment [FMA] and Modified Ashworth Score [MAS]) and with session-by-session EMG parameters (EMG activation level and co-contraction index). Results.ificant improvements in FMA scores (shoulder/elbow and wrist/hand) were found in the interactive group (P <.05).ificant decreases in the MAS were observed in the wrist and elbow joints for the interactive group and in the wrist joint for the passive group (P <.05). These MAS changes were associated with the decrease in EMG activation level of the flexor carpi radialis and the biceps brachii for the interactive group (P <.05). The muscle coordination on wrist and elbow joints was improved in the interactive groups in the EMG co-contraction indexes across the training sessions (P <.05). Conclusions. The interactive treatment improved muscle coordination and reduced spasticity after the training for both the wrist and elbow joints, which persisted for 3 months. The passive mode training mainly reduced the spasticity in the wrist flexor.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)837-846
Number of pages10
JournalNeurorehabilitation and Neural Repair
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2009


  • Electromyography
  • Robot
  • Stroke
  • Wrist

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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