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Randomized Controlled Trial
. 2016 Dec;23(6):406-412.
doi: 10.1080/10749357.2016.1168592. Epub 2016 May 20.

The Effects of Treadmill Walking Combined With Obstacle-Crossing on Walking Ability in Ambulatory Patients After Stroke: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial

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Randomized Controlled Trial

The Effects of Treadmill Walking Combined With Obstacle-Crossing on Walking Ability in Ambulatory Patients After Stroke: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial

Yeon-Gyu Jeong et al. Top Stroke Rehabil. .

Abstract

Background and objective: Treadmill walking training (TWT) provides greater amount and intensity of stepping practice than conventional walking training in patients with chronic stroke. However, there is not any conclusive evidence regarding the effects of TWT for ambulatory post-stroke patients. This study investigated the effects of treadmill walking combined with obstacle-crossing on the walking ability of ambulatory post-stroke patients.

Methods: Twenty-nine subjects from a university hospital-based rehabilitation center were randomly assigned to one of the following: experimental group (15 subjects) or control group (14 subjects). All subjects underwent 30 min of active/passive exercises and 30 min of gait training in the form of treadmill walking. The subjects in the experimental group underwent simultaneous training in obstacle-crossing while walking on the treadmill for 30 min/day, 5 times/week, for 4 weeks. Main measures were the 10-m walk test (10MWT), 6-min walk test (6MWT), Berg Balance Scale (BBS), timed "Up & Go" (TUG) test, and Activities-specific Balance Confidence (ABC) scale used before and after the intervention.

Results: The changed values of the 6MWT and BBS were significantly higher in the experimental group than in the control group after adjusting for each baseline value, with large effects of 1.12 and 0.78, respectively, but not in the 10MWT, TUG, and ABC scale scores. Both groups showed a significant difference in all variables before and after the intervention.

Conclusion: Treadmill walking combined with obstacle-crossing training may help improve the walking ability of patients with hemiplegic stroke and can possibly be used as an adjunct to routine rehabilitation therapy as a task-oriented practice based on community ambulation.

Keywords: Obstacle-crossing; Stroke; Treadmill; Walking ability.

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