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Vol. 37 No. 4, July/August 2000

Equipment specifications for supported treadmill ambulation training: A technical note

Michael S. Wilson, MS; Huma Qureshy, MS; Elizabeth J. Protas, PhD; S. Ann Holmes, MD; Thomas A. Krouskop, PhD; Arthur M. Sherwood, PhD

VA Medical Center, Houston, TX; Baylor College of Medicine; Texas Woman's University, Houston

Abstract — Supported Treadmill Ambulation Training (STAT) is a mode of therapy for gait retraining for patients with spinal cord injuries or other upper motor neuron dysfunction. The STAT program involves simultaneously supporting a portion of the patient's weight while gait training on a treadmill. STAT has been successful in improving the gait of many research subjects, but has not been widely applied in clinical practice. The goal of this study was to acquire practical, clinically useful information regarding this therapeutic intervention in order to remove barriers to its use. This manuscript enumerates equipment specifications for the treadmill, body weight support (BWS) system, and harness. The ergonomics of the work space are also considered, since the therapist(s) will need access to the patient's legs during therapy. The specific recommendations were determined through prior clinical experience, consultation of anthropometric tables, and application of engineering principles. The guidelines listed are intended to facilitate safe and effective application of the therapy at minimum hardware cost.

Key words: gait training, rehabilitation, spinal cord injuries, stroke

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