Affiliations: [a] Graduate School of Physical Therapy, Sahmyook University, Seoul, Republic of Korea | [b] Department of Physical Therapy, College of Health Welfare, Sahmyook University, Seoul, Republic of Korea
Address for correspondence: Byoung-Hee Lee, Department of Physical Therapy, College of Health Welfare, Sahmyook University, Hwarangro-815, Nowon-gu, Seoul 139-742, Republic of Korea. Tel.: +82 2 3399 634; Fax: +82 2 399 1639; E-mail: [email protected]
Abstract: Objective:The objective of this study was to compare the effects of action observation training and motor imagery training on recovery from chronic stroke. Methods:Thirty patients who were more than six months post stroke participated in this study and were randomly allocated to three groups. The action observation training group practiced additional action observation training for five 30-minute sessions over a four-week period. The motor imagery training group practiced additional motor imagery training for five 30-minute sessions over a four-week period. The following clinical measures were used for assessment of dynamic balance and gait abilities: Timed Up and Go Test, Functional Reaching Test, Walking Ability Questionnaire, and Functional Ambulation Category. Spatiotemporal gait parameters were also collected using a GAITRite system. Result:Compared with the physical training group, the action observation training group showed significant improvement in the Timed Up and Go test, gait speed, cadence, and single limb support of the affected side. No significant differences in any of the outcome measures were observed between the action observation training group and the motor imagery training group. Conclusion:Action observation training and motor imagery training results in improvement of dynamic balance and gait ability. These results suggest the feasibility and suitability of action observation training for patients with chronic stroke.