Effectiveness of Relaxation and Respiratory Exercise on Sleep Quality, Depression and Spasticity in Hemiplegic Stroke Patients: Preliminary Findings

Ahsen Songul Tutar Kizilkan, Derya Azim, Ebru Kaya Mutlu, Hanifegul Taskiran


Background: Our study aimed to determine the effect of relaxation and breathing exercises in addition to the treatment procedure on depression level, sleep quality, and spasticity in hemiplegic patients.

Methods: Thirty patients aged 40 - 70 years diagnosed with hemiplegia were included in the study. All patients received the same Bobath exercise 3 days a week for 6 weeks. Patients in group 2 additionally received breathing and relaxation exercises. Sleep quality assessment by Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PUKI), depression by Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), and spasticity by Modified Ashworth Scale (MAS) were used. All assessments were made at baseline and 6 weeks after exercise treatments.

Results: In the intragroup evaluation, significant improvements were found in depression evaluation (HADS), specific parameters of sleep quality evaluations (PUKI), and foot-ankle of spasticity evaluation (MAS) in group 2 (P < 0.05). When comparing the groups, group 2 showed a significantly better outcome in the total parameter of sleep quality assessment (PUKI) compared to group 1 (P < 0.05). Moreover, in evaluating MAS spasticity, group 2 demonstrated greater significance than group 1 in the shoulder girdle and foot-ankle parameters (P < 0.05). On the other hand, there was no significant difference between the two groups in the other parameters (P < 0.05).

Conclusions: As a result of this study, breathing and relaxation exercises, in addition to Bobath exercises, could be used to treat stroke to improve sleep quality, depression, and spasticity.

J Neurol Res. 2024;14(1):8-15
doi: https://doi.org/10.14740/jnr756


Depression; Exercise; Relaxation; Pain

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