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Top Stroke Rehabil. 2012 Nov-Dec;19(6):471-8. doi: 10.1310/tsr1906-471.

Resistance training for gait speed and total distance walked during the chronic stage of stroke: a meta-analysis.

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Lawson Health Research Institute, London, Ontario, Canada.



To conduct a meta-analysis examining the effectiveness of resistance training on comfortable gait speed and total distance walked when initiated in the chronic stage of stroke.


MEDLINE, CINAHL, EMBASE, and Scopus databases were searched from 1980 to June 2012. Studies were selected if they met the following criteria: (1) they were randomized controlled trials; (2) individuals in the studies were entered into the studies at or over 6 months post stroke; (3) resistance training was initiated during the chronic stage of stroke; and (4) study participants were ≥18 years of age. A standardized mean difference (SMD ± SE and 95% confidence interval [CI]) was calculated for at least 1 of the following outcomes in each study: comfortable gait speed and/or 6-minute walk test (6MWT). Treatment effect sizes were interpreted as follows: small, ≯0.2; moderate, ≯0.5; or large, ≯0.8. Study quality was assessed using the Physiotherapy Evidence Database (PEDro) tool.


Ten randomized controlled trials met inclusion criteria. Significant improvement was seen for gait speed with a small effect size (0.295 ± 0.118; 95% CI, 0.063-0.526; P < .013) and a pooled post mean speed of 0.79 m/s, and for the 6MWT (0.247 ± 0.111; 95% CI, 0.030-0.465; P = .026) with a pooled post mean total distance walked of 271.9 m.


This meta-analysis demonstrated that providing lower limb resistance training to community-dwelling individuals who are 6 months post stroke has the capacity to improve comfortable gait speed and total distance walked.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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