Tablet app based dexterity training in multiple sclerosis (TAD-MS): Research protocol of a randomized controlled trial

Judith J.W. Van Beek*, Erwin E.H. Van Wegen, Cleo D. Bol, Marc B. Rietberg, Christian P. Kamm, Tim Vanbellingen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Introduction: Patients with Multiple Sclerosis exhibit disturbed dexterity, leading to difficulties in fine motor skills such as buttoning a T-shirt or hand-writing. Consequently, activities of daily living and quality of life are affected. The aim of the present study is to investigate the effectiveness of a tablet app-based home-based training intervention to improve dexterity in patients with Multiple Sclerosis. Methods: An observer-blinded randomized controlled trial will be performed. Seventy patients with Multiple Sclerosis with self-reported difficulties in dexterity while executing activities of daily living will be recruited. After baseline assessment, participants are randomized to either an intervention group (n = 35) or control group (n = 35) by a computerized procedure. Blinded assessments will be done at baseline, post-intervention (after 4 weeks) and 12 weeks follow-up. The home-based intervention consists of a 4-week tablet app-based dexterity program. The app contains six dexterity games in which finger coordination, tapping, pinch grip is required. The control group will receive a Thera-band training program focused on strengthening the upper limb. The primary outcome is the Arm function of Multiple Sclerosis Questionnaire, a measure of patient-reported activities of daily living related dexterity. Secondary outcomes are dexterous function, hand strength, and quality of life. Discussion: This study will evaluate the effects of tablet app-based training for dexterity in patients with Multiple Sclerosis. We hypothesize that a challenging app-based dexterity program will improve dexterity both in the short term and the long-term. The improved finger and hand functions are expected to generalize to improved activities of daily living and quality of life.

Original languageEnglish
Article number61
JournalFrontiers in Neurology
Volume10
Issue numberFEB
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019
Externally publishedYes

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Keywords

  • App-based training
  • Arm function in multiple sclerosis questionnaire
  • Dexterity
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Randomized controlled trial

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