Getting a kinematic handle on reach-to-grasp: A meta-analysis

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Background and Objectives: Reach-to-grasp is an essential everyday activity that is often impaired after stroke. The objectives of this review are: 1) identify differences in the kinematic characteristics of reach-to-grasp between individuals with and without stroke, and 2) determine the influence of object location on kinematics.

Data sources: MEDLINE, AMED, and Embase databases.

Eligibility Criteria: Studies investigating individuals with stroke and neurologically intact control participants completing reach-to-grasp (paretic upper limb) of an object assessed via kinematic assessment (motion analysis).

Review Methods: Following Cochrane Collaboration guidelines a meta-analysis comparing kinematic characteristics of reach-to-grasp between individuals with and without stroke. Potential risk of bias was assessed using the Down’s and Black Tool. Data were synthesised by calculating the standardised mean difference (SMD) in kinematic characteristics between adults with and without stroke.

Results: Twenty-nine studies met the review criteria, mainly of observational design; 460 individuals with stroke and 324 control participants. Kinematic differences in reach-to-grasp were identified in the central and ipsilateral workspace for example, individuals with stroke exhibited significantly lower peak velocity SMD −1.48 (95% CI −1.94, −1.02), and greater trunk displacement SMD 1.55 (95% CI 0.85, 2.25) than control participants. Included studies were assessed as demonstrating unclear or high potential risk-of-bias.

Conclusions: Differences in kinematic characteristics between individuals with and without stroke were identified which may be different reaching in the ipsilateral and central workspace. Suggesting, that object location may influence some kinematic characteristics and not others which may be pertinent when re-training reach-to-grasp.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-166
Number of pages14
Issue number2
Early online date11 Nov 2017
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018


  • reach-to-grasp
  • task performance and analysis
  • upper extremity
  • stroke
  • kinematics

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