BACKGROUND: Mental practice (MP) is a cognitive strategy which may improve the acquisition of motor skills and functional performance of athletes and individuals with neurological injuries. OBJECTIVE: To determine whether an individualized, specific functional task-oriented MP, when added to conventional physical therapy (PT), promoted better learning of motor skills in daily functions in individuals with chronic stroke (13±6.5 months post-stroke). METHOD: Nine individuals with stable mild and moderate upper limb impairments participated, by employing an A1-B-A2 single-case design. Phases A1 and A2 included one month of conventional PT, and phase B the addition of MP training to PT. The motor activity log (MAL-Brazil) was used to assess the amount of use (AOU) and quality of movement (QOM) of the paretic upper limb; the revised motor imagery questionnaire (MIQ-RS) to assess the abilities in kinesthetic and visual motor imagery; the Minnesota manual dexterity test to assess manual dexterity; and gait speed to assess mobility. RESULTS: After phase A1, no significant changes were observed for any of the outcome measures. However, after phase B, significant improvements were observed for the MAL, AOU and QOM scores (p<0.0001), and MIQ-RS kinesthetic and visual scores (p=0.003; p=0.007, respectively). The significant gains in manual dexterity (p=0.002) and gait speed (p=0.019) were maintained after phase A2. CONCLUSIONS: Specific functional task-oriented MP, when added to conventional PT, led to improvements in motor imagery abilities combined with increases in the AOU and QOM in daily functions, manual dexterity, and gait speed.
This works presents the relation for the angles of interphalanges and metacharpo-phalange joints for the index, middle, ring and little finger of human hand. These angles are determinated during a grasp movement. These relations will be used to develop a hand prosthesis with anthropomorphic movements. The main difficult found in this work was the highest numbers of degrees of freedom from the human hand. A methodology was developed to find these angles. This methodology analyzed the movement in 2-D space, and use only one digital camera and a computer. This methodology could be used for determinate these relations for prosthesis because the abduction/adduction movements was almost never applied in this kind of mechanism.
Este trabalho determina as relações entre os ângulos das articulações interfalangeanas e metacarpo-falangeanas para os dedos indicador, médio, anular e mínimo da mão humana durante alguns movimentos de pinça com o objetivo de desenvolver uma prótese multifuncional de mão com movimentos antropomórficos. Uma das grandes dificuldades encontradas para o desenvolvimento destas relações é o fato da mão apresentar um elevado número de graus de liberdade, dificultando a análise dos dados. Utiliza-se um sistema de captura de imagem em apenas um plano para analisar o movimento. Determinam-se as relações para os movimentos de flexão e extensão dos dedos, desprezando adução e abdução durante a realização destas pinças.