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Efficacy of an Electromechanical Gait Trainer Poststroke in Singapore: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Published:January 20, 2016DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apmr.2015.12.025

      Abstract

      Objective

      To evaluate the longer-term effects of electromechanical gait trainers (GTs) combined with conventional physiotherapy on health status, function, and ambulation in people with subacute stroke in comparison with conventional physiotherapy given alone.

      Design

      Randomized controlled trial with intention-to-treat analysis.

      Setting

      Community hospital in Singapore.

      Participants

      Nonambulant individuals (N=106) recruited approximately 1 month poststroke.

      Interventions

      Both groups received 45 minutes of physiotherapy 6 times per week for 8 weeks as follows: the GT group received 20 minutes of GT training and 5 minutes of stance/gait training in contrast with 25 minutes of stance/gait training for the control group. Both groups completed 10 minutes of standing and 10 minutes of cycling.

      Main Outcome Measures

      The primary outcome was the Functional Ambulation Category (FAC). Secondary outcomes were the Barthel Index (BI), gait speed and endurance, and Stroke Impact Scale (SIS). Measures were taken at baseline and 4, 8, 12, 24, and 48 weeks.

      Results

      Generalized linear model analysis showed significant improvement over time (independent of group) for the FAC, BI, and SIS physical and participation subscales. However, no significant group × time or group differences were observed for any of the outcome variables after generalized linear model analysis.

      Conclusions

      The use of GTs combined with conventional physiotherapy can be as effective as conventional physiotherapy applied alone for people with subacute stroke.

      Keywords

      List of abbreviations:

      BI (Barthel Index), FAC (Functional Ambulation Category), GT (gait trainer), SIS (Stroke Impact Scale)
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