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Robot-assisted arm assessments in spinal cord injured patients: a consideration of concept study


Keller, Urs; Schölch, Sabine; Albisser, Urs; Rudhe, Claudia; Curt, Armin; Riener, Robert; Klamroth-Marganska, Verena (2015). Robot-assisted arm assessments in spinal cord injured patients: a consideration of concept study. PLoS ONE, 10(5):e0126948.

Abstract

Robotic assistance is increasingly used in neurological rehabilitation for enhanced training. Furthermore, therapy robots have the potential for accurate assessment of motor function in order to diagnose the patient status, to measure therapy progress or to feedback the movement performance to the patient and therapist in real time. We investigated whether a set of robot-based assessments that encompasses kinematic, kinetic and timing metrics is applicable, safe, reliable and comparable to clinical metrics for measurement of arm motor function. Twenty-four healthy subjects and five patients after spinal cord injury underwent robot-based assessments using the exoskeleton robot ARMin. Five different tasks were performed with aid of a visual display. Ten kinematic, kinetic and timing assessment parameters were extracted on joint- and end-effector level (active and passive range of motion, cubic reaching volume, movement time, distance-path ratio, precision, smoothness, reaction time, joint torques and joint stiffness). For cubic volume, joint torques and the range of motion for most joints, good inter- and intra-rater reliability were found whereas precision, movement time, distance-path ratio and smoothness showed weak to moderate reliability. A comparison with clinical scores revealed good correlations between robot-based joint torques and the Manual Muscle Test. Reaction time and distance-path ratio showed good correlation with the "Graded and Redefined Assessment of Strength, Sensibility and Prehension" (GRASSP) and the Van Lieshout Test (VLT) for movements towards a predefined position in the center of the frontal plane. In conclusion, the therapy robot ARMin provides a comprehensive set of assessments that are applicable and safe. The first results with spinal cord injured patients and healthy subjects suggest that the measurements are widely reliable and comparable to clinical scales for arm motor function. The methods applied and results can serve as a basis for the future development of end-effector and exoskeleton-based robotic assessments.

Robotic assistance is increasingly used in neurological rehabilitation for enhanced training. Furthermore, therapy robots have the potential for accurate assessment of motor function in order to diagnose the patient status, to measure therapy progress or to feedback the movement performance to the patient and therapist in real time. We investigated whether a set of robot-based assessments that encompasses kinematic, kinetic and timing metrics is applicable, safe, reliable and comparable to clinical metrics for measurement of arm motor function. Twenty-four healthy subjects and five patients after spinal cord injury underwent robot-based assessments using the exoskeleton robot ARMin. Five different tasks were performed with aid of a visual display. Ten kinematic, kinetic and timing assessment parameters were extracted on joint- and end-effector level (active and passive range of motion, cubic reaching volume, movement time, distance-path ratio, precision, smoothness, reaction time, joint torques and joint stiffness). For cubic volume, joint torques and the range of motion for most joints, good inter- and intra-rater reliability were found whereas precision, movement time, distance-path ratio and smoothness showed weak to moderate reliability. A comparison with clinical scores revealed good correlations between robot-based joint torques and the Manual Muscle Test. Reaction time and distance-path ratio showed good correlation with the "Graded and Redefined Assessment of Strength, Sensibility and Prehension" (GRASSP) and the Van Lieshout Test (VLT) for movements towards a predefined position in the center of the frontal plane. In conclusion, the therapy robot ARMin provides a comprehensive set of assessments that are applicable and safe. The first results with spinal cord injured patients and healthy subjects suggest that the measurements are widely reliable and comparable to clinical scales for arm motor function. The methods applied and results can serve as a basis for the future development of end-effector and exoskeleton-based robotic assessments.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Balgrist University Hospital, Swiss Spinal Cord Injury Center
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:21 May 2015
Deposited On:17 Nov 2015 09:20
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 19:32
Publisher:Public Library of Science (PLoS)
ISSN:1932-6203
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0126948
PubMed ID:25996374
Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-114678

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