A Randomized Controlled Trial to Evaluate the Impact of an Exercise Therapy Program Based on Sports in People with Acquired Brain Injury: Discover Study Protocol.

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Journal of Clinical Medicine
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Introduction: Acquired brain injury (ABI) constitutes a significant and growing global public health concern. People with ABI often face a range of physical and psychosocial challenges that span the domains of “body structure and function”, “activity”, and “participation”, as defined by the International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health. Multidisciplinary approaches based on exercise therapy with social leisure activities are essential to improve physical recovery and health-related quality of life after injury. Methods: Adults with ABI, aged > 18 years, in the subacute or chronic stage (within more than one month after the injury) will be recruited through a rehabilitation center. Adults will be randomized to receive either a racket sports-based exercise therapy program combined with usual care (sET) or usual care alone (UC) using a random number sequence with a 1:1 allocation ratio. sET intervention consists of an 8-week exercise therapy program focusing on different racket sports skills, 1 h in duration, 2 days/week. It will be delivered by a physiotherapist in tailored, face-to-face, group-based sessions. Primary outcomes will be the health-related quality of life (SF-36) and upper extremity motor function (Fugl-Meyer Assessment-Upper Extremity Scale). Discussion: The study proposes an intervention that combines sports-based exercise therapy with usual care. It aims to determine whether this intervention improves the health-related quality of life and upper limb motor function in adults with ABI compared with usual care alone. The results of this study may have clinical implications for the rehabilitation of this population.

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Acquired brain injury, Exercise therapy, Rehabilitation, Sports