Experiences of SENSory Relearning of the UPPer Limb (SENSUPP) after Stroke and Perceived Effects: A Qualitative Study

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Recently, it was shown that sensory relearning of the upper limb (SENSUPP) is a promising intervention to improve sensorimotor function after stroke. There is limited knowledge, however, of how participants perceive the training. Here, we explored how persons with sensory impairments in the upper limb experienced the SENSUPP protocol (combined sensory-and motor training and home exercises for 5 weeks) and its effect. Fifteen persons (mean age 59 years; 10 men; >6 months post-stroke) were individually interviewed, and data were analyzed with qualitative content analysis. An overall theme ‘Sensory relearning was meaningful and led to improved ability to perform daily hand activities’ and two categories with six subcategories emerged. The outpatient training was perceived as meaningful, although the exercises were demanding and required concentration. Support from the therapist was helpful and training in small groups appreciated. The home training was challenging due to lack of support, time, and motivation. Small improvements in sensory function were perceived, whereas increased movement control and ability in performing daily hand activities were reported. In conclusion, the SENSUPP protocol is meaningful and beneficial in improving the functioning of the UL in chronic stroke. Improving compliance to the home training, regular follow-ups, and an exercise diary are recommended.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3636
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Mar 1

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Physiotherapy

Free keywords

  • Qualitative study
  • Sensory function
  • Sensory relearning
  • Stroke
  • Upper limb


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