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Open Access Highly Accessed Study protocol

The effects of a rhythm and music-based therapy program and therapeutic riding in late recovery phase following stroke: a study protocol for a three-armed randomized controlled trial

Lina Bunketorp Käll1, Åsa Lundgren-Nilsson2, Christian Blomstrand1, Marcela Pekna1, Milos Pekny1* and Michael Nilsson13*

Author affiliations

1 Center for Brain Repair and Rehabilitation, Department of Clinical Neuroscience and Rehabilitation, Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Sahlgrenska Academy at University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden

2 Department of Clinical Neuroscience and Rehabilitation, Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Sahlgrenska Academy at University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden

3 Hunter Medical Research Institute, University of Newcastle, Newcastle, Australia

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Citation and License

BMC Neurology 2012, 12:141  doi:10.1186/1471-2377-12-141

Published: 21 November 2012

Abstract

Background

Stroke represents one of the most costly and long-term disabling conditions in adulthood worldwide and there is a need to determine the effectiveness of rehabilitation programs in the late phase after stroke. Limited scientific support exists for training incorporating rhythm and music as well as therapeutic riding and well-designed trials to determine the effectiveness of these treatment modalities are warranted.

Methods/Design

A single blinded three-armed randomized controlled trial is described with the aim to evaluate whether it is possible to improve the overall health status and functioning of individuals in the late phase of stroke (1-5 years after stroke) through a rhythm and music-based therapy program or therapeutic riding. About 120 individuals will be consecutively and randomly allocated to one of three groups: (T1) rhythm and music-based therapy program; (T2) therapeutic riding; or (T3) control group receiving the T1 training program a year later. Evaluation is conducted prior to and after the 12-week long intervention as well as three and six months later. The evaluation comprises a comprehensive functional and cognitive assessment (both qualitative and quantitative), and questionnaires. Based on the International classification of functioning, disability, and health (ICF), the outcome measures are classified into six comprehensive domains, with participation as the primary outcome measure assessed by the Stroke Impact Scale (SIS, version 2.0.). The secondary outcome measures are grouped within the following domains: body function, activity, environmental factors and personal factors. Life satisfaction and health related quality of life constitute an additional domain.

Current status

A total of 84 participants were randomised and have completed the intervention. Recruitment proceeds and follow-up is on-going, trial results are expected in early 2014.

Discussion

This study will ascertain whether any of the two intervention programs can improve overall health status and functioning in the late phase of stroke. A positive outcome would increase the scientific basis for the use of such interventions in the late phase after stroke.

Trial registration

Clinical Trials.gov Identifier: NCT01372059