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Research demonstrates benefit of visuomotor feedback training on hemineglect Main Image

Research demonstrates benefit of visuomotor feedback training on hemineglect

Thu 26 Jan 2017

New research shows that a simple task involving picking up rods can significantly improve performance on activities of daily living in patients with hemispatial neglect following stroke, through a technique called ‘visuomotor feedback training’.

Hemispatial neglect is a condition in which individuals are unaware of or find it difficult to attend to one side of space. This can cause problems with activities of daily living such as washing, dressing and eating.

Visuomotor feedback training, a technique that has been used in previous studies of hemispatial neglect, requires people to pick up rods by reaching, lifting and balancing them at the centre. This action provides feedback on the position of the arm and body in space, as well as visual feedback on positioning.

The new research, published in Neuropsychological Rehabilitation, used a similar albeit more detailed and rigorous methodology of a previous study. The researchers found that following training, patients improved on both tests of neglect symptoms and quality of life assessments, even when applied through fewer sessions and on more severely impaired patients than were observed in previous studies. Even four months after training, the improvements were significant compared to a control group.

The technique is easy to apply, non-intrusive and inexpensive. The researchers conclude that these promising results warrant testing in a real clinical setting, using a larger number of patients.

The research can be freely accessed in Neuropsychological Rehabilitation.

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