Feasibility of a home-based program to improve handwriting after stroke: a pilot study
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Purpose: To test the feasibility of a handwriting retraining program with adults after stroke; specifically the feasibility of: (i) recruiting people with stroke to the study, (ii) delivering the handwriting retraining program and (iii) outcome measures of handwriting performance. Method: A quasi-experimental pre-test post-test design was used. A four-week, home-based handwriting retraining program was delivered by an occupational therapist using task-specific practice. Legibility, speed, pen control and self-perception of handwriting were measured at baseline and completion of the program. Legibility was scored by a blinded rater. Results: Seven adults with stroke were recruited (eligibility fraction 43% of those screened, and enrolment fraction 78% of those eligible). There were no dropouts. Although, recruitment was slow the intervention was feasible and acceptable to adults with stroke. No statistically or clinically significant changes in legibility were reported in this small sample, but a ceiling effect was evident for some outcome measures. The study was not powered to determine efficacy. Conclusions: Delivery of a four-week handwriting intervention with eight supervised sessions in the community was feasible; however, recruitment of an adequate sample size would require greater investment than the single site used in this pilot.
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