Evaluation of Whether Functional Strength Training Can Enhance Recovery of Mobility After Stroke


Phase 2 Results N/A

Trial Description

The purpose of this study is to test the hypothesis that adding functional strength training to UK conventional therapy improves muscle function and walking than either UK conventional therapy alone or increased intensity of UK conventional therapy

Detailed Description

Neuromuscular weakness occurs frequently after stroke and the processes underlying recovery are still poorly understood. Accepted practice in UK physiotherapy is to avoid training of muscle strength after stroke but there is preliminary evidence that it might be effective.
An observer-blind randomised clinical trial. Subjects will be within 3 months of first stroke with some voluntary movement in the paretic lower limb. A power calculation estimated the sample size as 300. Research Physiotherapists, blinded to measurement, will recruit subjects, allocate subjects to one of the three intervention groups using sequentially numbered sealed envelopes containing previously randomised allocated intervention cards and provide interventions. The Research Assessors, blinded to intervention allocation will undertake all measurements. Conventional therapy (control) will be provided as normal for the clinical setting, the additional conventional therapy (experimental 1) or functional strength training (experimental 2) will be provided for one hour, four times a week, for six weeks. Subjects in the two experimental groups will also receive the conventional therapy standard in their clinical setting. Blinded measurement will be made before randomisation, at the end of intervention and 12-weeks thereafter. Primary outcomes are maximum torque around the knee joint, and gait velocity. The secondary outcomes include movement analysis, functional ability, corticospinal transmission (transcranial magnetic stimulation) and health related quality of life (Euroqol). The primary analysis will be analysis of covariance. A multiple comparison procedure (Gabriel's test) will be used to compare each pair of treatments. Euroqol data will be used to estimate the relative costs of the interventions and to calculate the incremental cost per QUALY gained. Every effort will be made to invite patients for assessment at outcome and follow-up even if they have withdrawn from therapy to allow the intention-to-treat principle to be applied.



Trial Design

  • Allocation: Randomized
  • Masking: Single Blind
  • Purpose: Treatment
  • Endpoint: Efficacy Study
  • Intervention: Parallel Assignment


Type Measure Time Frame Safety Issue
Primary Maximum torque around the knee joint
Primary gait velocity
Secondary Modified Rivermead Mobility Index
Secondary Lower limb kinematics during standing up
Secondary Lower limb kinematics during sitting down
Secondary Lower limb kinematics during walking
Secondary timing and pattern of muscle activation during functional activity
Secondary EuroQuol for health related quality of life
Secondary Transmission in the corticospinal pathways for suitable subjects who provide additional written informed consent for TMS