SENSory re-learning of the UPPer limb after stroke (SENSUPP): Study protocol for a pilot randomized controlled trial

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: Many stroke survivors suffer from sensory impairments of their affected upper limb (UL). Although such impairments can affect the ability to use the UL in everyday activities, very little attention is paid to sensory impairments in stroke rehabilitation. The purpose of this trial is to investigate if sensory re-learning in combination with task-specific training may prove to be more effective than task-specific training alone to improve sensory function of the hand, dexterity, the ability to use the hand in daily activities, perceived participation, and life satisfaction. Methods/design: This study is a single-blinded pilot randomized controlled trial (RCT) with two treatment arms. The participants will be randomly assigned either to sensory re-learning in combination with task-specific training (sensory group) or to task-specific training only (control group). The training will consist of 2.5 h of group training per session, 2 times per week for 5 weeks. The primary outcome measures to assess sensory function are as follows: Semmes-Weinstein monofilament, Shape/Texture Identification (STI™) test, Fugl-Meyer Assessment-upper extremity (FMA-UE; sensory section), and tactile object identification test. The secondary outcome measures to assess motor function are as follows: Box and Block Test (BBT), mini Sollerman Hand Function Test (mSHFT), Modified Motor Assessment Scale (M-MAS), and Grippit. To assess the ability to use the hand in daily activities, perceived participation, and life satisfaction, the Motor Activity Log (MAL), Canadian Occupational Performance Measure (COPM), Stroke Impact Scale (SIS) participation domain, and Life Satisfaction checklist will be used. Assessments will be performed pre- and post-training and at 3-month follow-up by independent assessors, who are blinded to the participants' group allocation. At the 3-month follow-up, the participants in the sensory group will also be interviewed about their general experience of the training and how effective they perceived the training. Discussion: The results from this study can add new knowledge about the effectiveness of sensory re-learning in combination with task-specific training on UL functioning after stroke. If the new training approach proves efficient, the results can provide information on how to design a larger RCT in the future in persons with sensory impairments of the UL after stroke.


External organisations
  • Skåne University Hospital
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Physiotherapy
  • Neurology


  • Rehabilitation, Sensory re-learning, Stroke, Upper limb
Original languageEnglish
Article number229
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Apr 17
Publication categoryResearch