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No Specific Effect of Whole-Body Vibration Training in Chronic Stroke: A Double-Blind Randomized Controlled Study

      Abstract

      Brogårdh C, Flansbjer UB, Lexell J. No specific effect of whole-body vibration training in chronic stroke: a double-blind randomized controlled study.

      Objective

      To evaluate the effects of whole-body vibration (WBV) training in individuals after stroke.

      Design

      A double-blind randomized controlled study with assessments pre- and posttraining.

      Setting

      A university hospital rehabilitation department.

      Participants

      Participants (N=31; mean age ± SD, 62±7y; 6–101mo poststroke) were randomized to an intervention group or a control group.

      Interventions

      Supervised WBV training (2 sessions/wk for 6wk; 12 repetitions of 40–60s WBV per session). The intervention group trained on a vibrating platform with a conventional amplitude (3.75mm) and the control group on a “placebo” vibrating platform (0.2mm amplitude); the frequency was 25Hz on both platforms. All participants and examiners were blinded to the amplitudes of the 2 platforms.

      Main Outcome Measures

      Primary outcome measures were isokinetic and isometric knee muscle strength (dynamometer). Secondary outcome measures were balance (Berg Balance Scale), muscle tone (Modified Ashworth Scale), gait performance (Timed Up & Go, comfortable gait speed, fast gait speed, and six-minute walk tests), and perceived participation (Stroke Impact Scale).

      Results

      There were no significant differences between the 2 groups after the WBV training. Significant but small improvements (P<.05) in body function and gait performance were found within both groups, but the magnitude of the changes was in the range of normative variation.

      Conclusions

      Six weeks of WBV training on a vibration platform with conventional amplitude was not more efficient than a placebo vibrating platform. Therefore, the use of WBV training in individuals with chronic stroke and mild to moderate disability is not supported.

      Key Words

      List of Abbreviations:

      CGS (comfortable gait speed), FGS (fast gait speed), ICC (intraclass correlation coefficient), RCT (randomized controlled trial), 6MWT (six-minute walk test), SIS (Stroke Impact Scale), TUG (Timed Up & Go), WBV (whole-body vibration)
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