Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development (JRRD)

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Volume 48 Number 2, 2011
   Pages 135 — 146

Abstract — Driving electromechanically assisted Gait Trainer for people with stroke

Marco Iosa, PhD;1* Giovanni Morone, MD;1 Maura Bragoni, MD, PhD;2 Domenico De Angelis, MD;2 Vincenzo Venturiero, MD, PhD;2 Paola Coiro, MD;2 Luca Pratesi, MD;2 Stefano Paolucci, MD1-2

1Movement and Brain Laboratory, Fondazione Santa Lucia, Istituto di Ricerca e Cura a Carattere Scientifico (IRCCS) [Santa Lucia Foundation, Scientific Institute for Research Hospitalization and Health Care], Rome, Italy; 2Unità Operativa F [Operative Unit F], Fondazione Santa Lucia, IRCCS, Rome, Italy

Abstract — Electromechanically assisted gait training is a promising task-oriented approach for gait restoration, especially for people with subacute stroke. However, few guidelines are available for selecting the parameter values of the electromechanical Gait Trainer (GT) (Reha-Stim; Berlin, Germany) and none is tailored to a patient's motor capacity. We assessed 342 GT sessions performed by 20 people with stroke who were stratified by Functional Ambulatory Category. In the first GT session of all patients, the body-weight support (BWS) required was higher than that reported in the literature. In further sessions, we noted a slow reduction of BWS and a fast increment of walking speed for the most-affected patients. Inverse trends were observed for the less-affected patients. In all the patients, the heart rate increment was about 20 beats per minute, even for sessions in which the number of strides performed was up to 500. In addition, the effective BWS measured during GT sessions was different from that initially selected by the physiotherapist. This difference depended mainly on the position of the GT platforms during selection. Finally, harness acceleration in the anteroposterior direction proved to be higher in patients with stroke than in nondisabled subjects. Our findings are an initial step toward scientifically selecting parameters in electromechanically assisted gait training.

Key words: accelerometry, ambulation recovery, assessment, body-weight support, gait training, heart rate, parameter selection, rehabilitation, stroke, walking speed.


View HTML  ¦  View PDF  ¦  Contents Vol. 48, No.2
This article and any supplementary material should be cited as follows:
Iosa M, Morone G, Bragoni M, De Angelis D, Venturiero V, Coiro P, Pratesi L, Paolucci S. Driving electromechanically assisted Gait Trainer for people with stroke. J Rehabil Res Dev. 2011;48(2):135-46.
DOI:10.1682/JRRD.2010.04.0069
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Last Reviewed or Updated  Friday, February 11, 2011 9:29 AM

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