Category: Stroke; Technology (e.g. robotics, assistive technology, mHealth)
Objective :To investigate the effect of 2 weeks of body weight support overground training using ceiling mounted, robotic trolley on gait parameters and balance confidence in subacute and chronic stroke patients and its impact on reducing the fall risk and for normalization of gait pattern.
Design : Pretest posttest experimental design: Randomized control trial
Setting : ENCOMPASS HEALTH REHABILITATION HOSPITAL, DALLAS
Participants : Participants (N=15) who were in subacute and chronic stages of stroke were randomized using chit system to the experimental and control group, with 7 in experimental group and 8 in control group.13 stroke patients were able to complete the study as 2 left LOA due to different reasons leaving 6 in experimental group and 7 in control group over a period of 6 months.
Inclusion Criteria: No recent medical and orthopedic conditions diagnosed other than stroke, be able to ambulate with / without assistance/ devices, should not have received gait training on vector gait and safety system before/ during their stay in hospital, intact vision and hearing, able to follow commands.
Interventions : Pretest step length, walking velocity and cadence testing was done using the 10m paperwalkway. Balance confidence score was taken using ABC scale. Experimental group was given gait training using Vector and Safety gait system 5 days/week for 30 min /day for 2 weeks in conjuction with regular conventional physical therapy. Control group received conventional physical therapy only.After 2 weeks , post test scores were taken.
Main Outcome Measure(s) : Step length, Cadence, Walking velocity, Balance confidence score
Results : T test was used to evaluate the improvement in the pretest and post test scores for both experimental and control group. Experimental group showed significant improvement between pretest and posttest scores for gait parameters and balance confidence on ABC scale as compared to the control group.
Conclusions : Results suggest that 2 weeks of gait training using dynamic body weight supported overground training using ceiling mounted trolley system can improve the gait parameters and balance confidence in patients with subacute and chronic stroke. Improvement in balance confidence can be correlated to the decrease in fall risk and ability to complete activities of daily living with confidence, thereby improving quality of life.
Kanika Govil– PT Team Lead, Encompass Health Hospital of Rehabilitation, Dallas, Texas, DALLAS, Texas
Kathryn Brush– Physical Therapist, Encompass health rehabilitation Hospital, Dallas, Dallas, Texas
Laura Farrar– Director of Therapy Operations, Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Dallas