Efficacy of gait training using a treadmill with and without visual biofeedback in patients after stroke: A randomized study
Mariusz Drużbicki , Agnieszka Guzik, Grzegorz Przysada , Andrzej Kwolek, Agnieszka Brzozowska-Magoń
Institute of Physiotherapy, University of Rzeszów, ul. Warszawska 26 a, 35-205 Rzeszów, Poland. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Objectives: To evaluate the effects of gait training using a treadmill with and without visual biofeedback in patients in the late period after stroke, and to compare both training methods.
Design: A randomized, controlled study.
Subjects: Fifty people at least 6 months after stroke, randomly enrolled into groups with a rehabilitation programme of treadmill training with or without visual biofeedback.
Methods: Spatio-temporal gait parameters, walking speed, walking distance, self-reliant mobility and functional capacity were evaluated during a programme of 10 sessions over 2 weeks.
Results: Patients in both groups achieved statistically significant improvement. Participants in the intervention group revealed a significantly greater improvement in the shortening of the stance phase (p = 0.0045) and lengthening of the swing phase of the unaffected limb (p = 0.0042) and an increase in the unaffected limb cycle length (p = 0.0021). There were no significant differences between groups in other spatio-temporal parameters of gait or additionally assessed parameters.
Conclusion: Gait training using a treadmill resulted in improvements in the gait and functional capacity of patients. The use of biofeedback gives better results in improving gait cycle length, duration of gait phases and swing phase speed compared with exercise on a treadmill alone.
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