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Effects of motor imagery on hand function during immobilization after flexor tendon repair

Stenekes, M.W. and Geertzen , J.H. and Nicolai, J.P.A. and Jong, B.M. de and Mulder, Th. (2009) Effects of motor imagery on hand function during immobilization after flexor tendon repair. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 90(4), 553-559. ISSN 0003-9993. doi:10.1016/j.apmr.2008.10.029.


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Objective: To determine whether motor imagery during the immobilization period after flexor tendon injury results in a faster recovery of central mechanisms of hand function. Design: Randomized controlled trial. Setting: Tertiary referral hospital. Participants: Patients (N=28) after surgical flexor tendon repair were assigned to either an intervention group or a control group. Intervention: Kinesthetic motor imagery of finger flexion movements during the postoperative dynamic splinting period. Main Outcome Measures: The central aspects of hand function were measured with a preparation time test of finger flexion in which subjects pressed buttons as fast as possible following a visual stimulus. Additionally, the following hand function modalities were recorded: Michigan Hand Questionnaire, visual analog scale for hand function, kinematic analysis of drawing, active total motion, and strength. Results: After the immobilization period, the motor imagery group demonstrated significantly less increase of preparation time than the control group (P=.024). There was no significant influence of motor imagery on the other tested hand function (P>.05). All tests except kinematic analysis (P=.570) showed a significant improvement across time after the splinting period (P <=.00 1). Conclusions: Motor imagery significantly improves central aspects of hand function, namely movement preparation time, while other modalities of hand function appear to be unaffected

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:doi:10.1016/j.apmr.2008.10.029
Institutes:Bureau KNAW
ID Code:5514
Deposited On:06 Jan 2010 16:27
Last Modified:13 Oct 2010 22:39

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