Can strength training improve upper-limb function in individuals who have suffered a stroke?

From: Stroke

Journal rating:
rating: 99%
Study Quality:
rating: 100%

Overall Reliability

Article Quality:
rating: 55%
rating: 25%


  • 517 individuals across 13 studies


  • The paper is a systematic review / meta analysis of all relevant trials.
  • This means that the data from all similar trials has been grouped to form an overall outcome.


  • A positive outcome for strength training was found for grip strength and upper-limb function.
  • No treatment effect was found for strength training on measures of activities of daily living.
  • A significant effect for strength training on upper-limb function was found for studies including subjects with moderate and mild upper-limb motor impairment.
  • No trials reported adverse effects.


  • Yes (with confidence)


Editors Notes

  • Upper-limb weakness after stroke is prevalent in acute and chronic stages of recovery, with up to 40% never regaining functional use of upper limb in daily activities.
  • In the studies reviewed, there was a lack of description of the progression of the strengthening program (eg, intensity, duration) as recommended by the American College of Sports Medicine