Keyboard playing as a hand exercise for patients with subacute stroke

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4 Scopus citations


Recent reports show that MIDI keyboard playing can improve upper-limb functions in neurorehabilitation, but little attention has been paid to this type of intervention with stroke patients in the subacute stage. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of keyboard-playing intervention that targeted hand dexterity of subacute stroke patients. A total of 17 subacute stroke patients participated in twelve 30-minute sessions over six weeks. The intervention included repetitive individuated, sequential, and simultaneous key-pressing to increase independent finger movements and strength. Of the four hand-function tests administered in this study, tip pinch in hand grip and pinch strength test and Box and Block Test (BBT) results showed the most significant improvement, indicating the largest effect sizes (0.785 for hand grip and pinch strength test and 0.840 for BBT). Better hand dexterity for subacute stroke patients may be achieved through repetitive key-pressing motions during keyboard playing by exercising the intrinsic and extrinsic flexor muscles primarily involved in the key-pressing motion. Overall, this study supports keyboard playing as a promising therapeutic intervention in subacute stroke rehabilitation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)144-150
Number of pages7
JournalMusic Therapy Perspectives
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported in part by a grant from the Ewha Global Top 5 Grant 2013 of Ewha Womans University, Seoul, Korea. Address correspondence concerning this article to Soo Ji Kim, PhD, MT-BC, Music Therapy Major, Graduate School of Education, Ewha Womans University, 52 Ewhayeodaegil, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul, 120–750, Korea. E-mail: © American Music Therapy Association 2016. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: doi:10.1093/mtp/miw023 Advance Access publication August 23, 2016 Music Therapy Perspectives, 35(2), 2017, 144–150

Publisher Copyright:
© American Music Therapy Association 2016. All rights reserved.


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