INTRODUCTION: Practicality of implementation and dosing of supplemental gait training in an acute stroke inpatient rehabilitation setting are not well studied but can have positive impact on outcomes.
OBJECTIVES: To determine the feasibility of early, intense supplemental gait training in inpatient stroke rehabilitation, compare functional outcomes and the specific mode of delivery.
DESIGN AND SETTING: Assessor blinded, randomized controlled trial in a tertiary Inpatient Rehabilitation Facility.
PARTICIPANTS: Thirty acute post-stroke patients with unilateral hemiparesis (≥ 18 years of age with a lower limb MAS ≤ 3).
INTERVENTION: Lokomat® or conventional gait training (CGT) in addition to standard mandated therapy time.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Number of therapy sessions; adverse events; functional independence measure (FIM motor); functional ambulation category (FAC); passive range of motion (PROM); modified Ashworth scale (MAS); 5 times sit-to-stand (5x-STS); 10-m walk test (10MWT); 2-min walk test (2MWT) were assessed before (pre) and after training (post).
RESULTS: The desired supplemental therapy was implemented during normal care delivery hours and the patients generally tolerated the sessions well. Both groups improved markedly on several measures; the CGT group obtained nearly 45% more supplemental sessions (12.8) than the Lokomat® group (8.9). Both groups showed greater FIM improvement scores (discharge - admission) than those from a reference group receiving no supplemental therapy. An overarching statistical comparison between methods was skewed towards a differential benefit (but not significant) in the Lokomat® group with medium effect sizes. By observation, the robotic group completed a greater number of steps, on average. These results provide some evidence for Lokomat® being a more efficient tool for gait retraining by providing a more optimal therapy "dose".
CONCLUSIONS: With careful planning, supplemental therapy was possible with minimal intrusion to schedules and was well tolerated. Participants showed meaningful functional improvement with relatively little supplemental therapy over a relatively short time in study.
Talaty, Mukul and Esquenazi, Alberto, "Feasibility and Outcomes of Supplemental Gait Training by Robotic and Conventional Means in Acute Stroke Rehabilitation" (2023). Moss-Magee Rehabilitation Papers. Paper 9.
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