Introduction: The rapid development of electromechanical and robotic devices has profoundly influenced neurorehabilitation. Growth in the scientific and technological aspects thereof is crucial for increasing the number of newly developed devices, and clinicians have welcomed such growth with enthusiasm. Nevertheless, improving the standard for the reporting clinical, technical, and normative aspects of such electromechanical and robotic devices remains an unmet need in neurorehabilitation. Accordingly, this study aimed to analyse the existing literature on electromechanical and robotic devices used in neurorehabilitation, considering the current clinical, technical, and regulatory classification systems. Evidence acquisition: Within the CICERONE Consensus Conference framework, studies on electromechanical and robotic devices used for upper- and lower-limb rehabilitation in persons with neurological disabilities in adulthood and childhood were reviewed. We have conducted a literature search using the following databases: MEDLINE, Cochrane Library, PeDro, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Science Direct, and Google Scholar. Clinical, technical, and regulatory classification systems were applied to collect information on the electromechanical and robotic devices. The study designs and populations were investigated. Evidence synthesis: Overall, 316 studies were included in the analysis. More than half (52%) of the studies were randomised controlled trials (RCTs). The population investigated the most suffered from strokes, followed by spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, and traumatic brain injuries. In total, 100 devices were described; of these, 19% were certified with the CE mark. Overall, the main type of device was an exoskeleton. However, end-effector devices were primarily used for the upper limbs, whereas exoskeletons were used for the lower limbs (for both children and adults). Conclusions: The current literature on robotic neurorehabilitation lacks detailed information regarding the technical characteristics of the devices used. This affects the understanding of the possible mechanisms underlying recovery. Unfortunately, many electromechanical and robotic devices are not provided with CE marks, strongly hindering the research on the clinical outcomes of rehabilitation treatments based on these devices. A more significant effort is needed to improve the description of the robotic devices used in neurorehabilitation in terms of the technical and functional details, along with high-quality RCT studies.

State of the art and challenges for the classification of studies on electromechanical and robotic devices in neurorehabilitation: a scoping review

Gandolfi, Marialuisa
;
Valè, Nicola;Dell'orco, Antonella;Botticelli, Anita;Dimitrova, Eleonora;Picelli, Alessandro;
2021

Abstract

Introduction: The rapid development of electromechanical and robotic devices has profoundly influenced neurorehabilitation. Growth in the scientific and technological aspects thereof is crucial for increasing the number of newly developed devices, and clinicians have welcomed such growth with enthusiasm. Nevertheless, improving the standard for the reporting clinical, technical, and normative aspects of such electromechanical and robotic devices remains an unmet need in neurorehabilitation. Accordingly, this study aimed to analyse the existing literature on electromechanical and robotic devices used in neurorehabilitation, considering the current clinical, technical, and regulatory classification systems. Evidence acquisition: Within the CICERONE Consensus Conference framework, studies on electromechanical and robotic devices used for upper- and lower-limb rehabilitation in persons with neurological disabilities in adulthood and childhood were reviewed. We have conducted a literature search using the following databases: MEDLINE, Cochrane Library, PeDro, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Science Direct, and Google Scholar. Clinical, technical, and regulatory classification systems were applied to collect information on the electromechanical and robotic devices. The study designs and populations were investigated. Evidence synthesis: Overall, 316 studies were included in the analysis. More than half (52%) of the studies were randomised controlled trials (RCTs). The population investigated the most suffered from strokes, followed by spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, and traumatic brain injuries. In total, 100 devices were described; of these, 19% were certified with the CE mark. Overall, the main type of device was an exoskeleton. However, end-effector devices were primarily used for the upper limbs, whereas exoskeletons were used for the lower limbs (for both children and adults). Conclusions: The current literature on robotic neurorehabilitation lacks detailed information regarding the technical characteristics of the devices used. This affects the understanding of the possible mechanisms underlying recovery. Unfortunately, many electromechanical and robotic devices are not provided with CE marks, strongly hindering the research on the clinical outcomes of rehabilitation treatments based on these devices. A more significant effort is needed to improve the description of the robotic devices used in neurorehabilitation in terms of the technical and functional details, along with high-quality RCT studies.
neurological disorders
upper extremity
lower extremity
gait
rehabilitation
robotics
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/1044028
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