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Date of Award


Degree Type

Thesis (On-Campus Access Only)

Degree Name

Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)

First Advisor

Laurie Lundy-Ekman, PhD, PT

Second Advisor

Daiva Banaitis, PhD, PT


Purpose. The purpose of this study was to determine if reducing spasticity, using electromyographic biofeedback, facilitated an increase in functional hand use in a person with upper motor neuron disease. Subject and Methods. One female subject diagnosed with upper motor neuron disease participated in an 8 week study comprised of a 4 week treatment period, followed by a 4 week no treatment period. The 4 weeks treatment period consisted of electromyographic biofeedback training 3 times a week for one half our per session. Functional hand tests were administered on the first, fourteenth, and twenty-eighth day of the treatment period, and four weeks following the cessation of the electromyographic biofeedback. Results. The results showed a trend of increased functional hand use as measured by the Jebsen Functional Hand Test during the treatment period for both the dominant (treated) and non dominant (untreated) hand. Further increased functional hand use was found in the dominant and non dominant hand four weeks following the cessation of the electromyographic biofeedback. Conclusion. The main conclusions drawn from this study were that electromyographic biofeedback is an effective means of 1) identifying faulty movement strategies, and 2) helping patients with upper motor neuron disease develop more effective movement strategies.


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