Sensory–motor rehabilitation therapy for task-specific focal hand dystonia: A feasibility study
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© 2018, The Author(s) 2018. Introduction: Medical treatments have limited long-term effect in task-specific dystonia. Whilst evidence supports the use of rehabilitation, no randomised controlled trials have been undertaken. This small-scale study determined the feasibility of implementing and evaluating a mixed sensory–motor task-specific dystonia rehabilitative programme. Methods: Participants with writer’s or musician’s dystonia were recruited from a movement disorder and hand therapy clinic. Feasibility measures were recruitment rate, retention, session attendance, adherence to exercises. Self-report measures at 0, 3 and 6 months included: Arm Dystonia Disability Scale (ADDS), Tubiana and Chamagne Scale (TCS), Brief Illness Perception Questionnaire (BIPQ), Health Status (EQ-5D 5L), Clinical Global Impression Scale (CGI). Task performance was video-recorded at baseline and 6 months. At 6 months, interviews explored participant experiences of the intervention. Results: Fifteen patients were recruited over 6 months (rate 2.5/month, musician’s dystonia = 8, writer’s dystonia = 7). Complete data sets were collected for twelve people(80%). The programme comprised a maximum six sessions plus daily home exercises. Nine completed the home programme at ≥75%. No adverse events were reported. Effect sizes at 3 and 6 months, respectively, were ADDS 3-month = 0.28, 6-month = 0.23; TCS 3-month = 0.13, 6-month = 0.53; BIPQ 3-month = 0.38, 6-month = 0.71; EQ-5D-5L 3-month = 0.34, 6-month = 0.59; video analysis at 6 months = 0.78. Eleven (92%) improved on the CGI. Interviews supported acceptability of the intervention. Conclusions: This intervention was feasible to deliver with high retention, adherence and acceptability. Improvements occurred across measures. This informs the development of future randomised controlled trials.
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