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Movement diversity and complexity increase as arm impairment decreases after stroke: Quality of movement experience as a possible target for wearable feedback
  • Shusuke Okita,
  • Diogo Schwerz De Lucena,
  • David J Reinkensmeyer
Shusuke Okita

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Diogo Schwerz De Lucena
David J Reinkensmeyer


Upper extremity (UE) impairment is common after stroke resulting in reduced arm use in daily life. A few studies have examined the use of wearable feedback of the quantity of arm movement to promote recovery, but with limited success. We posit that it may be more effective to encourage an increase in beneficial patterns of movement practice-i.e. the overall quality of the movement experience-rather than simply the overall amount of movement. As a first step toward this goal, here we sought to identify statistical signatures of the distributions of daily arm movements that become more prominent as arm impairment decreases, based on data obtained from a wrist IMU worn by 22 chronic stroke participants during their day. We identified several measures that increased as UE Fugl-Meyer (UEFM) score increased: the fraction of movements achieved at a higher speed, forearm postural diversity (quantified by kurtosis of the tilt-angle), and forearm postural complexity (quantified by sample entropy of tilt angle). Dividing participants into severe, moderate, and mild impairment groups, we found that forearm postural diversity and complexity were best able to distinguish the groups (Cohen's D = 1.1, and 0.99, respectively) and were also the best subset of predictors for UEFM score. Based on these findings coupled with theories of motor learning that emphasize the important of variety and challenge in practice, we posit that encouraging people to achieve more forearm postural diversity and complexity might improve the quality of their movement experience and therefore might be therapeutically beneficial.
19 Dec 2023Submitted to TechRxiv
22 Dec 2023Published in TechRxiv