Short- and Long-Term Effects of an Inhibitor Hand Splint in Poststroke Patients: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Suat E., Ibrahim S., Nilgun B., Yavuz Y., Fatma U.

TOPICS IN STROKE REHABILITATION, vol.18, no.3, pp.231-237, 2011 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 18 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Doi Number: 10.1310/tsr1803-231
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.231-237
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Purpose: To evaluate the effects of a hand splint with reflex inhibitory characteristics on balance and functional ambulation activities by means of a randomly allocated controlled study. Methods: Nineteen chronic stroke patients were randomly allocated to the control (n = 9) and study (n = 10) groups to compare the immediate and long-term effects of a splint with reflex inhibitory characteristics. The patients in the splinted group were asked to wear their splints at least 2 hours each day, during ambulation or when they felt the need. Subjects were evaluated initially and after 2, 4, and 6 months of splint usage with the Berg Balance Scale, Functional Reach test (FR), Timed Up & Go test (TUG), and L test. The same tests were used to evaluate the control group. Results: Timed within-group assessments showed no difference in the control group across the time interval. A favorable difference was detected in some of the evaluations for FR, TUG, and L test in the study group. Intergroup comparisons showed that the only difference between the groups was seen for TUG values at the fourth assessment in favor of the study group. Qualitative evaluations showed that the patients were compliant and generally satisfied with their splints. Conclusion: Hand splints with reflex inhibitory characteristics have no significant effect on balance and functional ambulation activities in chronic poststroke patients. Further studies investigating their effect on pain and associated reactions in this patient population are warranted.