FEATURESThermotherapy Combined With Therapeutic Exercise Improves Muscle Strength and Depression in Patients With Ischemic StrokeSetiyowati, Yovita Dwi MSN, RN1; Wang, Shan-Tair PhD2; Chen, Hsing-Mei PhD, RN3Author Information 1 Department of Nursing, Sint Carolus School of Health Sciences, Jakarta, Indonesia 2 Institute of Gerontology, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan 3 Department of Nursing, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan Correspondence: Hsing-Mei Chen, Department of Nursing, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, No. 1, University Road, East District, Tainan, 70101, Taiwan. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Cite this article as: Setiyowati, Y. D., Wang S.-T., & Chen H.-M. (2019). Thermotherapy combined with therapeutic exercise improves muscle strength and depression in patients with ischemic stroke. Rehabilitation Nursing, 44(5), 254–262. doi: 10.1097/rnj.0000000000000114 Rehabilitation Nursing: 9/10 2019 - Volume 44 - Issue 5 - p 254-262 doi: 10.1097/rnj.0000000000000114 Buy Metrics Abstract Purpose The study examined the effect of home-based thermotherapy combined with therapeutic exercise on muscle strength and depression in patients with ischemic stroke via a weekly evaluation over 4 weeks. Design/Methods A quasi-experimental, pre-/posttest research design without a control group was employed. A total of 22 patients participated. Self-reported daily logs were used to evaluate intervention adherence over the study period. The manual muscle testing and Aphasic Depression Rating Scale were administered at baseline and weekly for 4 weeks. Results Muscle strength in both the upper and lower limbs significantly increased (p < .05), whereas the depression score significantly decreased (p < .05). Conclusion The intervention increased muscle strength and decreased depression during the first 3 months after stroke onset. The significant effects were found beginning during the third week of the intervention. Clinical Relevance This intervention is inexpensive and can be easily applied by caregivers at home. Copyright © 2017 Association of Rehabilitation Nurses.