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Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2003 Oct;84(10):1486-91.

A treadmill and overground walking program improves walking in persons residing in the community after stroke: a placebo-controlled, randomized trial.

Author information

1
School of Physiotherapy, University of Sydney, NSW, Australia. L.Ada@fhs.usyd.edu.au

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate the effectiveness of a treadmill and overground walking program in reducing the disability and handicap associated with poor walking performance after stroke.

DESIGN:

Randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial with a 3-month follow-up.

SETTING:

General community.

PARTICIPANTS:

A volunteer sample of 29 ambulatory individuals (less 2 dropouts) who were living in the community after having suffered a stroke more than 6 months previously.

INTERVENTIONS:

The experimental group participated in a 30-minute treadmill and overground walking program, 3 times a week for 4 weeks. The control group received a placebo consisting of a low-intensity, home exercise program and regular telephone contact.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Walking speed (over 10 m), walking capacity (distance over 6 min), and handicap (stroke-adapted 30-item version of the Sickness Impact Profile) measured by a blinded assessor.

RESULTS:

The 4-week treadmill and overground walking program significantly increased walking speed (P=.02) and walking capacity (P<.001), but did not decrease handicap (P=.85) compared with the placebo program. These gains were largely maintained 3 months after the cessation of training (P</=.05).

CONCLUSIONS:

The treadmill and overground walking program was effective in improving walking in persons residing in the community after stroke. This suggests that the routine provision of accessible, long-term, community-based walking programs would be beneficial in reducing disability after stroke.

PMID:
14586916
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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