Johan A. Franck, MSc, OT; Jos H.G. Halfens, PT; Rob J.E.M. Smeets, Prof, PhD, MD; Henk A.M. Seelen PhD
The volume of information on new treatment techniques supporting the restoration of arm-hand function (AHF) and arm-hand skill performance (ASHP) in stroke survivors overwhelms therapists in everyday clinical practice when choosing the appropriate therapy. The Concise Arm and Hand Rehabilitation Approach in Stroke (CARAS) is designed for paramedical staff to structure and implement training of AHF and AHSP in stroke survivors. The CARAS is based on four constructs: (a) stratification according to the severity of arm–hand impairment (using the Utrecht Arm/Hand -Test [UAT]), (b) the individual’s rehabilitation goals and concomitant potential rehabilitation outcomes, (c) principles of self-efficacy, and (d) possibilities to systematically incorporate (new) technology and new evidence-based training elements swiftly. The framework encompasses three programs aimed at treating either the severely (UAT 0-1), moderately (UAT 2-3), or mildly (UAT 4-7) impaired arm-hand. Program themes are: taking care of the limb and prevention of complications (Program 1), task-oriented gross motor grip performance (Program 2), and functional AHSP training (Program 3). Each program is preceded and followed by an assessment. Training modularity facilitates rapid interchange/adaptation of sub-elements. Proof-of-principle in clinical rehabilitation has been established. The CARAS facilitates rapid structured design and provision of state-of-the-art AHF and ASHP treatment in stroke patients.
Franck, J. A., Halfens, J., Smeets, R., & Seelen, H. (2015). Concise Arm and Hand Rehabilitation Approach in Stroke (CARAS): A practical and evidence-based framework for clinical rehabilitation management. The Open Journal of Occupational Therapy, 3(4). https://doi.org/10.15453/2168-6408.1164