This high quality,
large multi-centre trial by Van de Port and colleagues (2012) is the latest contribution to the body of evidence. The study confirms that taskoriented circuit class training in small groups is as effective as individual intervention in improving mobility in people who require outpatient rehabilitation within the first six months after stroke. More important, 3-MA cost the efficiency in terms of staff resources of small groups suggests that where possible circuit class intervention should be used. Specifically, for the same healthcare costs, classes could afford more therapy for the individual either through increases in amount delivered in one day or by increasing the time over which services can be delivered. The differences between the groups in terms of walking speed and 6 minute walk distance were modest but in favour of the circuit class intervention. Without more detail of the interventions buy OSI-744 delivered to both groups it is hard to discuss the reasons for this result. For example there is evidence that treadmill training improves walking in both ambulatory (Ada et al, in press) and non-ambulatory (Dean et al 2010, Ada et al 2010) people after stroke. Similarly the use of biofeedback has been found to improve outcome (Stanton et al 2010). The trial also had a large number of secondary
outcomes measures some of which were redundant. Omitting some redundant measures and including a measure of free-living physical activity would have been useful to see if benefits had carried over into everyday life. Alzahrani and colleagues (2009) have shown stair ability
PD184352 (CI-1040) predicts free living physical activity after stroke. Inclusion of a free-living activity measure could have allowed subsequent analysis of this relationship in a Dutch sample. ”
“Summary of: Vivodtzev I et al (2012) Functional and muscular effects of neuromuscular electrical stimulation in patients with severe COPD: a randomised clinical trial. Chest 141: 716–725. [Prepared by Kylie Hill, CAP Editor.] Question: In patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), what effect does neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) have on muscle function and walking endurance? Design: Randomised, controlled trial in which the patients and those who collected outcome measures were blinded to group allocation. Setting: Home-based intervention with outcomes collected at a hospital in Quebec City, Canada. Participants: Patients who were clinically stable, sedentary and able to travel to the hospital with: (a) a smoking history > 20 pack-years, (b) severe airflow obstruction, and (c) a 6-minute walk distance < 400 m. Exclusion criteria comprised any co-morbid condition associated with muscle wasting. Randomisation of 22 patients allocated 13 to the intervention group and 9 to the control group. Interventions: Both groups received electrical stimulation 5 times a week for 6 weeks.