Walker, Marion F. and Sunderland, Alan and Fletcher-Smith, Joanne and Drummond, Avril E.R. and Logan, Pip and Edmans, Judi A. and Garvey, Katherine and Dineen, Robert A. and Ince, Paul and Horne, Jane and Fisher, Rebecca J. and Taylor, Jenny L.
The DRESS trial: a feasibility randomized controlled trial of a neuropsychological approach to dressing therapy for stroke inpatients.
Clinical Rehabilitation, 26
Objective: To investigate two approaches to treating patients with persistent dressing problems and cognitive difficulties following stroke.
Design: Pilot randomized controlled trial.
Setting: Inpatient stroke rehabilitation service.
Subjects: Seventy consecutive stroke patients with persistent dressing problems and accompanying cognitive difficulties at two weeks after their stroke.
Interventions: Patients were randomly allocated to six weeks of either a systematic neuropsychological approach, based on analysis of dressing problems and further cognitive testing, or to the control group who received conventional (functional) dressing practice. Both groups received treatment three times a week in accordance with two separately prepared manuals.
Main measures: Nottingham Stroke Dressing Assessment (NSDA), Line Cancellation, 10-hole peg transfer test, Object Decision, Gesture Imitation. Patients were assessed at six weeks after randomization by an independent assessor masked to group allocation.
Results: Both neuropsychological and functional groups improved performance on the NSDA over the treatment period (31% and 22%, respectively) but there was no significant difference between groups at six weeks. However, the neuropsychological group showed a significantly greater improvement on a line cancellation test of visual neglect (t(62) = 2.1, P < 0.05) and a planned subanalysis for those with right hemisphere damage showed a trend towards better dressing outcome (P = 0.07, one-tailed).
Conclusions: Results demonstrate the potential benefits of a systematic neuropsychological approach to dressing therapy, particularly for patients with right hemisphere damage. This study suggests the need for a phase III study evaluating the efficacy of a systematic neuropsychological approach in treating dressing difficulties, targeting patients with right hemisphere stroke and visuospatial impairments.
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