Effects of mental imagery on lower limb function in sub-acute stage of stroke patients; a randomized controlled trial
Keywords:Stroke; Subacute hemorrhage; Cerebrovascular accident; Mental imagery; Lower limb; Transient ischemic attack.
Introduction: Stroke is the most common type of cerebrovascular injury caused by sudden decrease in blood supply that can lead to weaknesses and other associated problems. Many treatment options are available for stroke with promising results. This trial was designed to explore the role of mental imagery (visual) in the sub-acute stage, considering the stroke patient, especially in evaluating its effects on the lower extremities.
Material & Methods: An experimental randomized controlled trial was performed from July to August 2018 in physiotherapy departments of National Hospital and Aadil Hospital Defence Lahore. A total of 80 patients having sub-acute stroke with strong perceptions having a score of 25 or more in the Mini Mental Score Exam and a 3 +/5 manual muscle testing grade system in the lower extremity were taken using non-probability consecutive sampling procedure. All the patients were divided into 2 groups randomly. Conservative treatment including strengthening and balance training were given to one group and conservative treatment with addition of visual imagery to the second group. Independent t-test was used to assess significant differences between the two groups.
Results: Comparison of Berg Balance Scale at pre-intervention between the experimental group and the controlled group was not significant, 13.76 ± 2.85 vs 13.84 ± 3.26 (p=0.927), respectively. After intervention the effects of treatment were significant in both groups, 18.64 ± 2.33 vs 17.80 ± 2.94(p=0.007), respectively. Comparison of Time Up and Go test at pre-intervention between groups was not significant, 6.28 ± 1.86 vs 6.68 ± 0.99(p=0.347), respectively. The intervention effects after treatment in both groups were significant, 1.84 ± 1.28 vs 3.56 ± 1.26 (p=0.001), respectively.
Conclusion: It is concluded that mental imagery along with conservative treatment plays a vital role in construction of neural circuit in sub-acute stroke patients.