Efficacy of functional strength training on restoration of lower limb motor function early after stroke; Phrase 1 randomised controlled trial

Emma V. Cooke, Raymond C. Tallis, Allan Clark, Valerie M. Pomeroy

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After stroke, physiotherapy can promote brain reorganization and motor recovery. Combining muscle strength and functional training (functional strength training, FST) may be beneficial. The aim of the authors was to compare FST with conventional physiotherapy (CPT) while controlling for the potential confounder of therapy intensity in a multicenter, randomized controlled observer-blind trial. The mean age of the participants was 68.3 (standard deviation [SD] = 12.03) years at a mean of 34 (SD = 20) days after stroke, with mean peak paretic knee extension torque (torque) of 22 (SD = 25) Nm. The estimated sample size was 102 to detect a between-group difference of 0.2 m/s in walking speed. After baseline measures, participants were allocated randomly to CPT or CPT + CPT or CPT + FST for 6 weeks. Additional experimental therapy was provided for up to 1 hour a day, 4 times each week. Outcomes were measured 6 weeks after baseline and at follow-up 12 weeks thereafter. Measures included walking speed, knee extensor torque, and functional mobility (Rivermead). At outcome, both extraintensity groups showed greater increases in walking speed than the CPT group, but this reached significance only for the CPT + CPT group (P = .031). The CPT + CPT group also had a greater number of participants who walked at 0.8 m/s or above. No significant differences were observed for torque about the knee or for the Rivermead score. At follow-up, no significant differences were observed. These phase I results justify a subsequent trial of CPT + CPT versus CPT + FST.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)88-96
Number of pages9
JournalNeurorehabilitation and Neural Repair
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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