Title

Robotic Resistance Treadmill Training Improves Locomotor Function in Children With Cerebral Palsy: A Randomized Controlled Pilot Study

Document Type

Article

Language

eng

Publication Date

11-2017

Publisher

Elsevier (WB Saunders)

Source Publication

Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Source ISSN

0003-9993

Abstract

Objective

To determine whether applying controlled resistance forces to the legs during the swing phase of gait may improve the efficacy of treadmill training as compared with applying controlled assistance forces in children with cerebral palsy (CP).

Design

Randomized controlled study.

Setting

Research unit of a rehabilitation hospital.

Participants

Children with spastic CP (N=23; mean age, 10.6y; range, 6–14y; Gross Motor Function Classification System levels, I–IV).

Interventions

Participants were randomly assigned to receive controlled assistance (n=11) or resistance (n=12) loads applied to the legs at the ankle. Participants underwent robotic treadmill training 3 times a week for 6 weeks (18 sessions). A controlled swing assistance/resistance load was applied to both legs starting from the toe-off to mid-swing phase of gait during training.

Main Outcome Measures

Outcome measures consisted of overground walking speed, 6-minute walk distance, and Gross Motor Function Measure scores and were assessed pre and post 6 weeks of training and 8 weeks after the end of training.

Results

After 6 weeks of treadmill training in participants from the resistance training group, fast walking speed and 6-minute walk distance significantly improved (18% and 30% increases, respectively), and 6-minute walk distance was still significantly greater than that at baseline (35% increase) 8 weeks after the end of training. In contrast, overground gait speed and 6-minute walk distance had no significant changes after robotic assistance training.

Conclusions

The results of the present study indicated that robotic resistance treadmill training is more effective than assistance training in improving locomotor function in children with CP.

Comments

Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Vol. 98, No. 11 (November 2017): 2126-2133. DOI.

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