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Effects of primary caregiver participation in vestibular rehabilitation for unilateral neglect patients with right hemispheric stroke: a randomized controlled trial

Authors Dai CY, Huang YH, Chou LW, Wu SC, Wang RY, Lin LC

Received 6 January 2013

Accepted for publication 25 February 2013

Published 8 April 2013 Volume 2013:9 Pages 477—484

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/NDT.S42426

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Chin-Ying Dai,1,2 Yu-Hui Huang,3,4 Li-Wei Chou,5,6 Shiao-Chi Wu,7 Ray-Yau Wang,8 Li-Chan Lin9

1School of Nursing, National Yang Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan; 2Department of Nursing, Central Taiwan University of Science and Technology, Taichung, Taiwan; 3Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Chung Shan Medical University Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan; 4School of Medicine, Chung Shan Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan; 5Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, China Medical University Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan; 6School of Chinese Medicine, College of Chinese Medicine, China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan; 7Institute of Health and Welfare Policy, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan; 8Department of Physical Therapy and Assistive Technology, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan; 9Institute of Clinical and Community Health Nursing, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China

Introduction: The current study aims to investigate the effects of primary caregiver participation in vestibular rehabilitation (VR) on improving the measures of neglect, activities of daily living (ADL), balance, and falls of unilateral neglect (UN) patients.
Methods: This study is a single-blind randomized controlled trial. Both experimental (n = 24) and control groups (n = 24) received conventional rehabilitation. The experimental group undertook VR for a month. During the first and second weeks, a registered nurse trained the experimental group in VR. The primary caregivers in the experimental group supervised and guided their patients in VR during the third and fourth weeks. The outcome measures were neglect, ADL, balance, and falls.
Results: The two groups of UN patients showed a significant improvement in neglect, ADL, and balance over time. Based on the generalized estimating equations model, an interaction was observed between groups and times. Significant interactions were observed between the VR group at days 14 and 28 in the areas of neglect, ADL, and balance. No significant difference was observed between the two groups in the number of falls.
Conclusion: Neglect, ADL, and balance among UN patients with right hemispheric stroke can be improved through the participation of primary caregivers in VR. Trained informal caregivers were recommended to provide VR guidance and supervision to patients who suffer from UN.

Keywords: neglect, vestibular rehabilitation, falls, balance, caregiver

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