COMbined Physical and somatoSEnsory training after stroke: Development and description of a novel intervention to improve upper limb function Academic Article uri icon


  • BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:After stroke, reach-to-grasp goal-directed movements are disrupted as a result of both residual motor and somatosensory impairments. This report describes the rationale and development of a new upper limb stroke rehabilitation intervention known as COMPoSE: "COMbined Physical and somatoSEnsory training," designed to improve somatosensory and motor deficits in the upper limb after stroke. A standardized training matrix has been developed to facilitate intervention delivery. METHODS:The COMPoSE intervention was developed through the following stages: (a) Definition and operationalization of somatosensory and motor variables used in training sensation and movement after stroke; (b) development of methods to give feedback to enhance skill acquisition; and (c) Combination of somatosensory and motor variables, and feedback, into a standardized training matrix. The reporting of the COMPoSE intervention adheres to the recommendations of the Template for Intervention Description and Replication checklist to facilitate replication of the intervention in the future. RESULTS:The essential features of COMPoSE include combined somatosensory-motor training variables (grasp pressure, distance, object size, crushability, surface texture, and friction), feedback, and calibration using a haptic device providing measures of grasp pressure, use of anticipation trials, and high-dose repetitive task practice. Ten treatment sessions are delivered over 3 weeks, using a standardized matrix for treatment delivery. CONCLUSION:COMPoSE is a new intervention that combines somatosensory and movement training, delivered synchronously, within the same intervention, and within the same task.

publication date

  • 2019