Objective Evaluation of Stroke Patients’ Movement
Different movement patterns of patients are analysed in health care. The aim is either to characterise the movement itself or to acquire information on disorders affecting the motor system. Probably the most frequently used examination is gait analysis but prosthesis adjustment, sports-, rehabilitation-, and ergonomic studies are also greatly helped by movement analysis. The early diagnosis and assessment of patients with brain disorders is more reliable if several movement patterns are involved in the test. The paper reports on the objective evaluation of the finger-tapping and pointing movement; the equipment used, the movement patterns, the tested persons, the recordings and the evaluation algorithms are described in detail. Twelve stroke patients and ten healthy control subjects were tested. Persons performed pointing tests on a hexagon and finger tapping tests. The tracking of markers has made it possible to characterise the performance of a person on the basis of the complete tapping and pointing movement. This is a substantial improvement compared to evaluation based on contact sensors. Parameters have been defined that characterise both the swiftness and the regularity of movements. Evaluation of the movements affirms that stroke patients have individual symptoms. The actual state of a patient as well as the change in it can be assessed objectively by movement analysis. The proposed tests are appropriate for use in clinical environment. Patients have found the tests challenging but not fatiguing. The tests can be used not only for rating the patients objectively but also to help their rehabilitation.
Keywordsmovement analysis finger-tapping pointing
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