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Tablet app-based dexterity training in multiple sclerosis (TAD-MS): a randomized controlled trial

HumanInsight Tablet app-based dexterity training in multiple sclerosis (TAD-MS): a randomized controlled trial

Disabil Rehabil Assist Technol. 2022 Oct 29:1-11. doi: 10.1080/17483107.2022.2131915. Online ahead of print.


PURPOSE: Mobile health applications (mHealth apps) may lead to health benefits. In recent years, the use of apps in multiple sclerosis (MS) has increased. Apps to train and improve dexterity in MS are scarce. This study investigated the effectiveness of a tablet app-based home-based training to improve dexterity in individuals with MS.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: In a randomized controlled trial, two standardized 4-week home-based interventions focussing on different aspects of dexterity and upper limb function were compared. Assessments were done at baseline, post-intervention and 12-week follow-up. The primary endpoint was the Arm Function in Multiple Sclerosis Questionnaire, a dexterity-related measure of patient-reported activities of daily living. Secondary endpoints were dexterous function, grip strength and health-related quality of life.

RESULTS: Forty-eight individuals were randomly assigned to a tablet app-based program (n = 26) or a control strengthening exercise program (n = 22). No significant differences were found for the primary endpoint (p = 0.35). Some significant differences in favour of the app-group were found in fine coordinated finger movements and strength. No significant differences were found at the 12-week follow-up for all endpoints. Adherence in both groups was above 90%.

CONCLUSIONS: App-based training was not superior compared to a control strengthening exercise program concerning the arm- and hand function from the participant's perspective. However, app-based training was found to be effective in improving specific dimensions (finger movements and strength), and can easily be applied at home. Therefore, individuals living with MS with impaired dexterity should consider app-based training.


PMID:36308305 | DOI:10.1080/17483107.2022.2131915

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