Multisensory stimulation to promote upper extremity motor recovery in stroke: A pilot study

Lawla L.F. Law, Nai Kuen Fong, Ray K.F. Li

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Occupational therapists have been using various preparatory methods as part of the treatment sessions to prepare clients for occupational performance and participation in occupation. Studies have shown sensory stimulation both activates brain areas inducing cortical reorganization and modulates motor cortical excitability for the stimulated afferents, hence re-establishing the disrupted sensorimotor loop due to stroke. This pilot investigates the potential effects of using multisensory stimulation as a preparatory method prior to conventional training (CT) on upper-extremity motor recovery and self-care function in stroke patients. Method: This was a quasi-randomized controlled pilot. Twelve participants (age in years = 67.17 + /−11.29) with upper extremity motor deficits were randomly allocated to multisensory therapy (n = 6) or conventional (n = 6) groups for 12-week training. Assessments were conducted at baseline and post-intervention using Fugl-Meyer Assessment of Motor Recovery after Stroke (FMA), Manual Muscle Testing (MMT), Functional Test for the Hemiplegic Upper Extremity (Hong Kong version FTHUE-HK) and Modified Barthel Index (MBI). Results: Significant between-group differences were shown in FMA (p = 0.003), FTHUE-HK (p = 0.028) and MMT (p = 0.034). Conclusion: Multisensory stimulation could be used as a preparatory method prior to CT in improving upper extremity motor recovery in stroke rehabilitation. Further well-designed larger scale studies are needed to validate the potential benefits of this application.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)641-648
Number of pages8
JournalBritish Journal of Occupational Therapy
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2018


  • motor recovery
  • Multisensory
  • stroke
  • upper extremity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Occupational Therapy


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