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Chong, H. J., Han, S. J., Kim, Y. J., Park, H. Y., & Kim, S. J. (2014). Relationship between output from MIDI-keyboard playing and hand function assessments on affected hand after stroke. NeuroRehabilitation, 35(4), 673-680.


Background:While a number of studies have tested the therapeutic effectiveness of playing musical instruments, such as the electronic keyboard using Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI), it is still unclear whether outcomes of electronic keyboard playing are related to hand function tests. Objective:The purpose of this study was to investigate the correlation between MIDI-keyboard playing and hand function tests, including grip strength, Box and Block test (BBT), and Jensen-Taylor Hand Function Test (JTHF). Methods:A total of 66 stroke patients were recruited from medical centers and were classified into acute (n = 21), subacute (n = 28), and chronic (n = 17) recovery stages. The participants’ mean age was 60.5 years. The MIDI-keyboard playing protocol based on sequential key pressing was implemented. All hand function tests were performed by certified occupational therapists. Results:MIDI scores from participants at all three recovery stages were significantly correlated with BBT and grip strength. Overall, MIDI-keyboard playing scores demonstrated moderate to high correlations with hand function tests except for participants at the chronic stage and the JTHF, which showed no correlation. Conclusions:These findings suggest that MIDI-keyboard playing has great potential as an assessment tool of hand function, especially hand dexterity in acute and subacute stroke patients. Further studies are needed to refine the specific keyboard playing tasks that increase responsiveness to traditional hand function tests.

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