An experimental study was conducted in four convalescent facilities using fourteen CVA patients with body scheme disturbances. The study was done to test the hypothesis that the experimental technique of light touch sensory stimulation as supplied by fast brushing to the skin dermatomes C 5, 6, 7, and 8 of the affected arms would increase the scores of the subjects in the experimental group.

Patients were assigned via a random process to the experimental or control groups if, upon taking the MacDonald Test of Body Scheme, they obtained a score of 39 or below. Subjects in the experimental group received the fast brushing sensory stimulation to their affected arms for three minutes, five days in a row. Subjects who were in the control group did not receive the experimental technique. On the sixth day, subjects in both the experimental group and the control group were retested using the MacDonald Test of Body Scheme to determine if their scores had changed from pre- to poststimulation time.

The first statistical analysis which was a t test of independent groups, revealed that there were no significant changes in the scores of patients in the experimental group from pre- to poststimulation time. A second t test was done to the scores, this time omitting two subtests of the MacDonald Test of Body Scheme which were believed to be less reliable in indicating neurological impairment. The data again failed to show significance although the value obtained was very close to the value which was needed at the .05 level of confidence. Statistically speaking, the hypothesis of the study was not accepted. Clinically, three of the subjects in the experimental group manifested rather dramatic behavior (verbal and nonverbal) responses to the application of the experimental technique. It was concluded that the study might have been unfavorably influenced by the use of the present form of the MacDonald Test of Body Scheme, and by the age and location of the subjects which were obtained for the study.

The technique appears to be valuable as a clinical tool for nurses to use in assisting some CVA patients to become aware of affected body parts; a suitable testing device needs to be developed to measure its effectiveness.

LLU Discipline





Graduate School

First Advisor

R. Maureen Maxwell

Second Advisor

V. Joyce Lim

Third Advisor

Miriam Bruce

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Hemiplegia -- nursing; Body Image; Rehabilitation -- methods



Page Count

viii; 97; ii

Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Collection Website



Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives