Evaluation of a New Motor Scale that Focuses on Awareness of Movements in People With Stroke

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Schedule of Events


1. Informed Consent
2. Demographics and medical history
3. Complete assessments and procedures 

What kind of clinical assessments are done?

We will evaluate movements of the arm, sensation of the body and ask you to fill in some questionnaires on daily life, well-being, and medical background or general health information. For clinicians and physical/occupational, please see the video of one of the clinical tests we perform during these assessments:

Study Location

Children's Rehabilitation Center (wheelchair accessible entrance)

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426 Church Street SE
Room 302 - Brain Body Mind Lab
Minneapolis, MN 55455

From Highway I-94 take the Huron Boulevard exit and go north:

  • Left on Fulton Street SE
  • Continue straight ahead onto East River Parkway

The East River Road Garage Parking Ramp will be on your right. After parking, take the elevator to the first floor to go outside. The Coffman Memorial Union Building is in front of you, the road is Delaware Street SE. Turn right to walk on Delaware St SE and take another right on Church St SE.  We will meet you at the front entrance of the Children's Rehabilitation Building. We will then go to the Brain Body Mind Lab (3rd floor, Room 302).

If stairs are not an obstacle, you can also walk out of the East River Road Garage (Level C) and walk back to the East River Road Parkway, up the hill, to the first adjacent building on your left. This is the back entrance of the Children's Rehabilitation Center. We will wait for you at this door. 

Brain Body Mind Lab (Room 302)

The referenced media source is missing and needs to be re-embedded.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do researchers hope to learn?

Severe motor impairment following stroke is common. About 70% of people with stroke (approximately 5 million adult Americans) are unable to use their hand in daily life.

So far, motor evaluations scales mainly score active movements of the arm and hand to monitor improvement after stroke. Often, this scoring includes how far (or how fast) a patient can move, but does not take quality of movement into account. This is unfortunate because many compensatory movements create secondary complications in joints and muscles over the long run.

The Motor Evaluation for Upper Extremity in Stroke patients (MESUPES)1 assesses tone, muscle activation and how far the arm moves in a correct way. It is also used to score finger movements and functional tasks.

For clinicians and physical/occupational, here is a video of the MESUPES.

Free scoring sheet and instructions (and info on psychometric properties here). 

Based on our previous research and from feedback from experienced physical and occupational therapists in the clinic who us a rehabilitation approach, called cognitive multisensory rehabilitation (also called neurocognitive therapy), which focuses on improving body awareness, we and other therapists have observed that a patient’s perception of their movement also plays a significant role in their ability to recover lost motor function. 

We therefore have developed the Awareness of Functional tasks with Arm and hand in Stroke (AFAS) scale. This scale allows for monitoring both the therapist’s observation of the patient’s movement and muscle tone as well as the patients’ awareness of their movements. As far as we know, this is the first time such an approach has been undertaken in motor evaluations in stroke. 

Moreover, we observed in our previous research that the ability to relax the affected limb created the potential for movements to return, even up to 7 years post-stroke. 

How will participating in this study help?

This research helps us explore ways to evaluate recovery of movement and potentially help design more specific rehabilitation strategies that can increase hand and arm function, which in turn could improve their quality of life by making everyday tasks more manageable.

How do I need to be dressed?

Loose fitting clothing would be fine. We recommend you wear clothing in which you are comfortable.

Do I have to take a break from other activities/therapies in order to participate?

No need. This is only a one-time visit.

What are the characteristics of stroke patients you are working with on this study?

People with stroke with various levels of movement impairment can participate. Participants who have cognitive problems, are unable to speak or understand instructions, have neglect or apraxia will not be recruited. Neglect, apraxia, cognitive assessment, and sensation will be tested during the screening, so if you are not sure feel free to contact us.

How will I benefit from participating?

For participants with stroke: There may be no direct benefit to participating in this study. However, information from this study may help other people in the future.

Does this cost money to participate?

There is no charge to participate.

I'm working full-time/in shifts, can I come before/after my work?

While we cannot always promise a perfect match, we will do our best to plan our visits around your working schedule. Visits early in the morning, after 5pm or during the weekend can be discussed.

Principal Investigator (PI):

Ann Van de Winckel, PhD, MS, PT

Interested in Participating?

This is a one-time visit to the University of Minnesota.
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