Systematic review| Volume 101, ISSUE 4, P674-689, April 2020

Ergometer Training in Stroke Rehabilitation: Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

Published:November 02, 2019DOI:



      Ergometer training is routinely used in stroke rehabilitation. Through this meta-analysis, we sought to discover the strength of evidence of its effects.

      Data Source

      The PubMed database and PEDro database were reviewed prior to January 22, 2019.

      Study Selection

      Randomized controlled trials investigating the effects of ergometer training on stroke recovery were selected.

      Data Extraction

      Two reviewers independently selected the studies, performed independent data extraction, and assessed the risk of bias.

      Data Synthesis

      A total of 28 studies (including 1115 subjects with stroke) were included. The data indicates that (1) ergometer training leads to a significant improvement in walking ability, cardiorespiratory fitness, motor function, muscular force of the lower limbs, balance and postural control, spasticity, cognitive abilities, and the brain’s resistance to damage and degeneration; (2) neuromuscular functional electrical stimulation–assisted ergometer training is more efficient than ergometer training alone; (3) high-intensity ergometer training is more efficient that low-intensity ergometer training; and (4) ergometer training is more efficient than other therapies in supporting cardiorespiratory fitness, independence in activities of daily living, and balance and postural control, but less efficient in improving walking ability.


      Ergometer training can support motor recovery after stroke. However, current data is insufficient for evidence-based rehabilitation. More data is required about the effects of ergometer training on cognitive abilities, emotional status, and quality of life in subjects with a history of stroke.


      List of abbreviations:

      CI (confidence interval), FES (functional electrical stimulation)
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