Effectiveness of an outpatient rehabilitation programme in patients with neuralgic amyotrophy and scapular dyskinesia: a randomised controlled trial

Renske M J Janssen, Renee Lustenhouwer, Edith H C Cup, Nens van Alfen, Jos Ijspeert, Rick Helmich, Ian G M Cameron, Alexander C H Geurts, Baziel G M van Engelen, Maud J L Graff, Jan Groothuis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Background: Neuralgic amyotrophy (NA) is an acute inflammation of nerves within the brachial plexus territory leading to severe pain and multifocal paresis resulting in >60% of patients having residual complaints and functional limitations correlated with scapular dyskinesia. Our primary aim was to compare the effects of multidisciplinary rehabilitation (MR), focused on motor relearning to improve scapular dyskinesia and self-management strategies for reducing pain and fatigue, with usual care (UC) on shoulder, arm and hand functional capability in patients with NA.
Methods: In a non-blinded randomised controlled trial (RCT), patients with NA (aged≥18 years, scapular dyskinesia, >8 weeks after onset) were randomised to either an MR or an UC group. MR consisted of a diagnostic multidisciplinary consultation and eight sessions of physical and occupational therapy. Primary outcome was functional capability of the shoulder, arm and hand assessed with the Shoulder Rating Questionnaire–Dutch Language Version (SRQ-DLV).
Results: We included 47 patients with NA; due to drop-out, there were 22 participants in MR and 15 in UC for primary analysis. The mean group difference adjusted for sex, age and SRQ-DLV baseline score was 8.60 (95%CI: 0.26 to 16.94, p=0.044). The proportion attaining a minimal clinically relevant SRQ-DLV improvement (≥12) was larger for the MR group (59%) than the UC group (33%) with a number needed to treat of 4.
Conclusion: This RCT shows that an MR programme focused on motor relearning to improve scapular dyskinesia, combined with self-management strategies for reducing pain and fatigue, shows more beneficial effects on shoulder, arm and hand functional capability than UC in patients with NA. Trial registration number NCT03441347.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)474-481
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry
Volume94
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2023
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • neuromuscular
  • peripheral neuropathology
  • randomised trials
  • rehabilitation

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