After a stroke event, most survivors suffer from arm paresis, poor motor control and other disabilities that make activities of daily living difficult, severely affecting quality of life and personal independence. This randomized controlled trial aimed at evaluating the efficacy of a music-based sonification approach on upper limbs motor functions, quality of life and pain perceived during rehabilitation. The study involved 65 subacute stroke individuals during inpatient rehabilitation allocated into 2 groups which underwent usual care dayweek) respectively of standard upper extremity motor rehabilitation or upper extremity treatment with sonification techniques. The Fugl-Meyer Upper Extremity Scale, Box and Block Test and the Modified Ashworth Scale were used to perform motor assessment and the McGill Quality of Life-it and the Numerical Pain Rating Scale to assess quality of life and pain. The assessment was performed at baseline, after 2 weeks, at the end of treatment and at follow-up (1 month after the end of treatment). Total scores of the Fugl-Meyer Upper Extremity Scale (primary outcome measure) and hand and wrist sub scores, manual dexterity scores of the affected and unaffected limb in the Box and Block Test, pain scores of the Numerical Pain Rating Scale (secondary outcomes measures) significantly improved in the sonification group compared to the standard of care group (time*group interaction < 0.05). Our findings suggest that music-based sonification sessions can be considered an effective standardized intervention for the upper limb in subacute stroke rehabilitation.
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