Background And Purpose-: To examine the effect of thermal stimulation (TS) on upper extremity (UE) motor recovery in patients at least 3 months after stroke. Methods-: Participants were randomly assigned to either the experimental group or the control group. In addition to regular rehabilitation programs, the experimental group received an UE-TS protocol for 30 minutes per day (3 days/week for 8 weeks); the control group received the same TS protocol on lower extremity. The UE subscale of the Stroke Rehabilitation Assessment of Movement and the Action Research Arm Test were primary outcome measures. The Modified Ashworth Scale and the Barthel Index were secondary outcome measures. All measures were administered at baseline, after TS, and at 1-month follow-up. Results-: Twenty-three participants (12 in the experimental group) completed the study. After treatment, the experimental group showed significant improvement compared to the control group in the scores of the UE subscale of the Stroke Rehabilitation Assessment of Movement and Action Research Arm Test. At follow-up examination, a significant improvement in the experimental group was observed on the UE subscale of the Stroke Rehabilitation Assessment of Movement. Conclusions-: The 8-week additional UE-TS protocol improved UE motor recovery for stroke patients 3 months after onset. © 2010 American Heart Association, Inc.
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