How to measure stroke recovery properly
Consistent participation in rehabilitation can be hard to sustain, often because it is difficult for patients to notice progress as it is happening. Small changes are often unseen or overlooked as insignificant. Perceived lack of progress can lead to burnout and abandonment of rehab programming. Keeping track of even the tiniest goal achievements can be a great way to remain empowered during recovery.
What can little achievements signify?
- reduced dependency on caregivers
- progress toward a new set of skills
- increased energy for participation in preferred activity
Most patients have a tendency to judge their progress based on unreasonable expectations of themselves in the short term. They can become frustrated when their abilities fluctuate from day to day and can easily forget that stroke recovery is a marathon, not a sprint. Concrete measurements taken over the long term can be a great way to reinforce that functional recovery happens bit by bit.
What to keep track of?
- How quickly a task can be completed
- How long a position or motion can be maintained
- How many repetitions can be performed at one time.
- Distances traveled
- Videos demonstrating quality of movement or speech
- Devices or equipment required during an activity
When to take measurements?
These objective measurements should be taken consistently to best track progress as well as to understand the body’s normal variations in ability from day to day. It is best to record the important data in written or visual form for easy access For example, keep a log of the time it takes to walk a certain distance or finish buttoning a shirt. With consistent practice and documentation, the time needed will improve. If a plateau in progress in reached, the training methods may need to be adjusted.
Maintaining documentation throughout the stroke recovery process can be invaluable for patients, caregivers and medical practitioners. Modern tools like Neofect’s smart rehabilitation devices can make this process significantly easier. Proprietary software utilizes artificial intelligence to automatically gather and record complex data in a digital format while patients are focused on task specific activity.
During each activity the smart algorithm is seamlessly recording speed, accuracy and range of motion thus eliminating the need for the patient to self record results which can easily be inaccurate or inconsistent. The consolidated reports section allows patients to easily access tracked information about their progress in order to remain motivated. Please visit our website if you are curious about Neofect Home, a digital solution for hand rehabilitation of stroke patients.
- June LeeClinical Manager / Physical Therapist