Summary: Many people who have suffered a stroke will experience sensorimotor impairments that disrupt their performance of motor skills, including balance and gait. Furthermore, stroke-induced brain damage can Result in visual disorders that may significantly impact performance of normal daily activities. The primary aim of this study was to investigate the effects, on balance, of visual-spatial training as an add-on intervention to conventional neurorehabilitation in patients with subacute stroke without neglect; secondarily, it aimed to assess the effects of this training on activities of daily living. Thirty inpatients (17 M, age: 57.3±12.9 years) with a diagnosis of subacute stroke (< 180 days) were enrolled in this study and randomized into two groups: the visual-spatial training group and a control group. All patients were evaluated, using the Tinetti Balance and Gait Scale (TBG), the Berg Balance Scale, computerized posturography, and the Barthel Index (BI), both before (T0) and after (T1) four weeks of training sessions. In addition to conventional neurorehabilitation, each group performed a total of twelve 20-minute rehabilitation sessions (3 times/week for 4 weeks). Significant TIME x GROUP interactions were recorded in the experimental group with respect to the control group for the TBG score [F (1,18) =15.59; p = 0.0004] and BI score [F (1,28) =6.35; p = 0.01]. Both groups recorded non-significant improvements on the instrumental postural assessment. These data suggest that visualspatial training as an add-on intervention to conventional neurorehabilitation could be an effective complementary strategy to improve balance and activities of daily living.
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