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Phys Ther. 2001 Apr;81(4):995-1005.

Balance and mobility following stroke: effects of physical therapy interventions with and without biofeedback/forceplate training.

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Cardinal Hill Rehabilitation Hospital, 2050 Versailles Rd, Lexington, KY 40504, USA.



Visual biofeedback/forceplate systems are often used for treatment of balance disorders. In this study, the researchers investigated whether the addition of visual biofeedback/forceplate training could enhance the effects of other physical therapy interventions on balance and mobility following stroke.


The study included a sample of convenience of 13 outpatients with hemiplegia who ranged in age from 30 to 77 years (mean=60.4, SD=15.4) and were 15 to 538 days poststroke.


Subjects were assigned randomly to either an experimental group or a control group when the study began, and their cognitive and visual-perceptual skills were tested by a psychologist. Subjects were also assessed using the Berg Balance Scale and the Timed "Up & Go" Test before and after 4 weeks of physical therapy. Both groups received physical therapy interventions designed to improve balance and mobility 2 to 3 times per week. The experimental group trained on the NeuroCom Balance Master for 15 minutes of each 50-minute treatment session. The control group received other physical therapy for 50 minutes.


Following intervention, both groups scored higher on the Berg Balance Scale and required less time to perform the Timed "Up & Go" Test. These improvements corresponded to increased independence of balance and mobility in the study population. However, a comparison of mean changes revealed no differences between groups.


Although both groups demonstrated improvement following 4 weeks of physical therapy interventions, no additional effects were found in the group that received visual biofeedback/forceplate training combined with other physical therapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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