Motor learning principles for rehabilitation: A pilot randomized controlled study in poststroke patients

Lamberto Piron, Andrea Turolla, Michela Agostini, Carla Silvana Zucconi, Laura Ventura, Paolo Tonin, Mauro Dam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background. Six months after a stroke, the hemiplegic arm often remains compromised. More innovative approaches to motor rehabilitation are needed. Objective. The authors compared a motor learning-based approach in a virtual environment with more conventional upper extremity therapy in a pilot trial. Methods. This prospective, single-blinded, randomized controlled trial compared reinforced feedback in a virtual environment (RFVE; n = 27) with a control intervention (n = 20) of progressive therapy for the affected upper extremity. Both treatments were provided for 4 weeks, 5 days per week, with 1-hour treatment sessions daily. The primary outcomes were the Fugl-Meyer Upper Extremity (F-M UE) and Functional Independence Measure (FIM) scores. Kinematic outcomes included mean duration (MD), mean linear velocity (MLV), and number of submovements to measure the motor performance. Analyses of the primary outcomes were performed per protocol and by intention to treat. Results. F-M UE scores improved significantly in the RFVE group compared with the conventional therapy group ("intention to treat" = 5.10 points, P =.004; ANCOVA = 4.26 points, P

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)501-508
Number of pages8
JournalNeurorehabilitation and Neural Repair
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2010


  • motor learning
  • neurorehabilitation
  • randomized controlled trial
  • stroke
  • upper limb
  • virtual reality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Rehabilitation
  • Neurology


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