Gait training with a safety suspension device accelerates the achievement of supervision level walking in subacute stroke: a randomized controlled trial

Kenji Kawakami, Hiroyuki Miyasaka, Yuichi Hioki, Ayako Furumoto, Shigeru Sonoda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Practicing walking in a safety suspension device allows patients to move freely and without excessive reliance on a therapist, which requires correcting errors and may facilitate motor learning. This opens the possibility that patients with subacute stroke may improve their walking ability more rapidly. Therefore, we tested the hypothesis that overground gait training in a safety suspension device will result in achieving faster supervision-level walking than gait training without the suspension device. Twenty-seven patients with stroke admitted to the rehabilitation ward with functional ambulation categories (FAC) score of 2 at admission were randomly allocated to safety suspension-device group (SS group) or conventional assisted-gait training group (control group). In addition to regular physical therapy, each group underwent additional gait training for 60 min a day, 5 days a week for 4 weeks. We counted the days until reaching a FAC score of 3 and assessed the probability using Cox regression models. The median days required to reach a FAC score of 3 were 7 days for the SS group and 17.5 days for the control group, which was significantly different between the groups (P < 0.05). The SS group had a higher probability of reaching a FAC score of 3 after adjusting for age and admission motor impairment (hazard ratio = 3.61, 95% confidence interval = 1.40-9.33, P < 0.01). The gait training with a safety suspension device accelerates reaching the supervision-level walking during inpatient rehabilitation. We speculate that a safety suspension device facilitated learning by allowing errors to be experienced and correct in a safe environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-80
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Rehabilitation Research
Volume47
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01-06-2024
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation

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