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Int J Rehabil Res. 2019 Sep;42(3):270-274. doi: 10.1097/MRR.0000000000000357.

Body weight supported treadmill vs. overground gait training for acute stroke gait rehabilitation.

Author information

1
Departments of Bioengineering.
2
Rehabilitation Sciences, Florida Gulf Coast University, Fort Myers, Florida.
3
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, Colorado, USA.

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the clinical efficacy of body weight supported treadmill training for acute post-stroke rehabilitation, relative to conventional therapy. Forty individuals were randomized to receive either body weight supported treadmill training or conventional therapy as part of standard care at an acute rehabilitation facility. As part of normal care patients were evaluated using the Functional Independence Measure; gait units and length of stay were also recorded. Within 48 hours of discharge, participants were evaluated using a Qualisys motion capture system to measure spatiotemporal gait parameters. Participants allocated to the body weight supported treadmill training group had a significantly lower admission Functional Independence Measure, but had a longer length of stay, and did not have significantly different discharge Functional Independence Measure scores. Gait speed was the only spatiotemporal outcome that was significantly different at discharge, and was lower for the body weight supported treadmill training group. As seen in previous literature, the clinical efficacy of body weight supported treadmill training seems to be similar to that of conventional overground therapy. Accounting for difference in admission scores the body weight supported treadmill training and conventional therapy groups, both methods performed comparably.

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