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Comparative Study
. 2014 Mar;52(3):220-4.
doi: 10.1038/sc.2013.160. Epub 2014 Jan 7.

Effects of a Visuotemporal Cue on Walking Ability of Independent Ambulatory Subjects With Spinal Cord Injury as Compared With Healthy Subjects

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Comparative Study

Effects of a Visuotemporal Cue on Walking Ability of Independent Ambulatory Subjects With Spinal Cord Injury as Compared With Healthy Subjects

N Pramodhyakul et al. Spinal Cord. .

Abstract

Study design: An experimental, cross-sectional study.

Objectives: To investigate effects of using a visuotemporal cue on the walking ability of independent ambulatory subjects with spinal cord injury (SCI) as compared with healthy subjects.

Setting: A tertiary rehabilitation center, Thailand.

Methods: Forty independent ambulatory subjects with SCI and healthy subjects participated in the study (20 subjects per group). All of them were assessed for their walking speed, stride length, cadence and percents of step symmetry under two conditions, including walking at their fastest speed with and without a visuotemporal cue along a 10 m walkway.

Results: When walking with a visuotemporal cue, walking speed, stride length and cadence of the subjects were significantly increased from the uncued condition (P<0.01). However, the healthy subjects showed a significantly greater increase in walking speed and cadence, whereas, subjects with SCI demonstrated significantly higher improvement in stride length as compared with the other group (P<0.001). In addition, the effects of the visuotemporal cue were significantly greater in those with less severity of SCI (P<0.01).

Conclusion: The findings confirm the benefits of using a visuotemporal cue to improve variables relating to walking ability in subjects with intact integrative capability of the brain but with different levels of sensorimotor deterioration. The findings suggest the use of a visuotemporal cue to improve the effectiveness of programs in sport and exercise sciences, and rehabilitation treatments.

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