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Thermotherapy Combined With Therapeutic Exercise Improves Muscle Strength and Depression in Patients With Ischemic Stroke

Setiyowati, Yovita Dwi, MSN, RN1; Wang, Shan-Tair, PhD2; Chen, Hsing-Mei, PhD, RN3

doi: 10.1097/rnj.0000000000000114
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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.

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: hsingmei@mail.ncku.edu.tw

Cite this article as: Setiyowati, Y. D., Wang S.-T., & Chen H.-M. (2017). Thermotherapy combined with therapeutic exercise improves muscle strength and depression in patients with ischemic stroke. Rehabilitation Nursing, 00(0), 00-00. doi: 10.1097/rnj.0000000000000114

© 2019 Association of Rehabilitation Nurses.
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