Decreased dexterity in chronic stroke survivors results in diminished hand use and impacts quality of life. We studied reach-and-grasp coordination and aperture scaling during reach to grasp using different grasp types and object sizes (33–55mm). Chronic stroke survivors with hand paresis and controls grasped cylinders with the whole hand or fingertips. Three stroke subjects with more severe hand paresis had disrupted reach/grasp coordination and used compensatory strategies for arm transport and/or grasping. Nine stroke subjects with less severe paresis scaled aperture to cylinder diameter (p < .001) but had slower movements, used excessive trunk movement, and had prolonged deceleration times. Relative time to maximal grip aperture (TMA) occurred earlier in stroke subjects and in both groups when grasping the small cylinder (p < .002). Despite deficits in reach and grasp, chronic stroke survivors with mild to moderate hand paresis may retain grip aperture scaling to object size for different grasp types.
Michaelsen is with PPG Ciências do Movimento Humano—CEFID/UDESC, Santa Catarina State University, Florianópolis—SC, Brazil. Magdalon is with the State University of Campinas, Brazil. Levin is with the School of Physical and Occupational Therapy, McGill University, and the Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Rehabilitation (CRIR), Montreal, Canada.