Recommendation ID
Upper limb electrical stimulation:- What is the clinical and cost effectiveness of electrical stimulation (ES) as an adjunct to rehabilitation to improve hand and arm function in people after stroke, from early rehabilitation through to use in the community?
Any explanatory notes
(if applicable)
Why this is important:- After stroke an estimated 30–70% of people have reduced or no use of one arm and hand. Electrical stimulation (ES) has long been thought to be a possible useful adjunct to rehabilitation to improve arm and hand function. ES is believed to enhance the training effect of active, task-specific and strengthening rehabilitation programmes. However, the evidence to date does not inform clinicians or people with stroke whether ES will be an effective addition to rehabilitation for them. A linked-series of studies are needed to:
1. Identify the dose, practice parameters and rehabilitation programme content needed to effect change in hand and arm function with ES.
2. Characterise the clinical profiles of people who will benefit from ES in early, middle and late stages of the stroke pathway.
The primary outcome measure should be the person's assessment of improvement in function. Secondary outcomes should include measures of impairment, function and quality of life and these should reflect people with low-, middle- and high-functioning upper limbs.

Source guidance details

Comes from guidance
Stroke rehabilitation in adults
Date issued
June 2013

Other details

Is this a recommendation for the use of a technology only in the context of research? No  
Is it a recommendation that suggests collection of data or the establishment of a register?   No  
Last Reviewed 12/07/2013