- 1Institute of Movement Science, Department of Sport and Health Sciences, Technical University of Munich, Munich, Germany
- 2Department of Kinesiology, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA, USA
Methods: In this preliminary study we employed three-dimensional motion recording and applied kinematic analysis in a multi-step ADL (tea-making). The trials were examined with respect to errors and sub-action structure, durations, path lengths (PLs), peak velocities, relative activity (RA) and smoothness. In order to check for specific burdens the sub-actions of the task were extracted and compared. To examine the feasibility of the approach, we determined the behavioral and kinematic metrics of the (ipsilesional) unimanual performance of seven chronic stroke patients (64a ± 11a, 3 with right/4 with left brain damage (LBD), 2 with signs of apraxia, variable severity of paresis) and compared the results with data of 14 neurologically healthy age-matched control participants (70a ± 7a).
Results: T-tests revealed that while the quantity and structure of sub-actions of the task were similar. The analysis of end-effector kinematics was able to detect clear group differences in the associated parameters. Specifically, trial duration (TD) was increased (Cohen’s d = 1.77); the RA (Cohen’s d = 1.72) and the parameters of peak velocities (Cohen’s d = 1.49/1.97) were decreased in the patient group. Analysis of the task’s sub-actions repeated measures analysis of variance (rmANOVA) revealed no impact of the different demands of the sub-actions on the relative performance of the patient group.
Conclusion: The analyses revealed kinematic peculiarities in the performance with the ipsilesional hand. These deficits apparently arose from the cognitive demands like sequencing rather than motor constraints. End-effector kinematics proved as a sensitive method to detect and quantify aspects of disturbed multi-step ADL performance after stroke. If standardized, the examination and the analysis are quick and deliver objective data supporting clinical research.