Upper Limb Recovery in Asian Stroke Survivors: Precise Assessment of Sensori-Motor Recovery and Quality of Life

PartnerTan Tock Seng Hospital, ETH Zurich
FocusPrecision Rehabilitation, Neurological, Stroke
Clinical PIAsst Prof Phyllis LIANG
Research Assistant Professor, Rehabilitation Research Institute of Singapore
Dr Karen CHUA
Senior Consultant, Tan Tock Seng Hospital
Future Health Technologies (FHT) Programme Director, Principal Investigator of Connected Rehabilitation Technology and Assistive Devices, ETH Zurich
ResearchersMyra Jasmine Binti MOHD IBRAHIM, Research Assistant
SOH Li Jing, Research Associate

The challenge

Individuals with stroke that have sustained upper limb impairments are affected in many areas, such as their ability to carry out activities of daily living (ADLs), and their quality of life (QOL) encompassing social relationships, motivation, and psychological functioning.

Precise assessment of arm and hand function are crucial in guiding the selection of optimal therapy, and recovery of lost functions. Clinical observation and standardized assessments such as Action Research Arm Test (ARAT) and Fugl- Meyer Assessment- Upper Extremity (FMA-UE) are usually used in assessing the recovery of upper limb function; however, they are subjective and limited in its precision in terms of measuring dynamic movements or fine motor skills.

Assessment of QOL is necessary to track changes in needs and support of individuals with stroke across various stages of their rehabilitation. Given the subjective nature of QOL, it is also important to understand the rich, and diverse needs of the Singapore population.


The proposed solution

Funded by the National Research Foundation (NRF), this program aims to 1) improve the precision and objectivity of the assessment of upper limb impairments, and 2) develop a QOL assessment unique to individuals with stroke in the local context.

For upper limb impairments assessment, pre-identified upper limb functions are measured with both technology-based instrumented equipment and Motion Capture Cameras ( (see Ability Data) for construct validity analysis. Valid technology-based metrics capable of characterizing upper limb performance at different levels will be further examined against conventional clinical assessment

For QOL assessment, a mixed method design will be employed, whereby subjective experiences of QOL are explored through a phenomenological framework, followed by the development of a tool to assess the QOL of individuals with stroke across various stages of their recovery.