2. Department of Behavior and Social Sciences, University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.
3. Department of Biological Sciences, University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.
4. Departments of Pharmacology & Physiology, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.
Individuals with chronic stroke may experience a sedentary lifestyle that puts them at risk for continued health concerns and lack of participation in community activities. This feasibility study was implemented to determine if a novel training program performed at moderate intensity would result in improvements across multiple domains of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF). This novel program included cardiorespiratory conditioning, balance retraining, upper extremity and lower extremity strengthening with cognitive retraining (motor/motor and motor/cognitive). Additionally, this study was implemented to determine the feasibility of performing a battery of outcome measures to address deficits in multiple domains of the ICF. Thirty-six subjects expressed interest in beginning the program, with 6 subjects completing the twelve-week intervention. This study resulted in many individual changes on the domains of the ICF, but no one subject made improvements in all 3 areas. Of concern was the lack of tolerance by the individuals with stroke to perform the intervention three days a week (four subjects completed 24 sessions in 12 weeks). Multiple reasons were given for difficulty adhering to the three day per week program including fatigue, transportation issues, and weather. The lack of subject fitness resulted in mixed results and will be addressed in the full study. It was determined that it was feasible to implement this functional circuit training program with cognitive retraining and capture the changes using multiple outcome measures that spanned the domains of the ICF. The impact on people with stroke realized by completing this study is varied with some individuals experiencing minimal change and others experiencing changes in multiple domains. The impact to clinicians and researchers is an improved understanding of the difficulties of higher intensity and increased frequency of treatment in people with chronic stroke.
Keywords: Stroke, moderate intensity continuous exercise, circuit training, cognitive retraining