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Case report

Analysis of gait during independent and paired walking in adults with an intellectual disability: A case report.

Guillaume Fumery, Vincent Fourcassié, Pierre Moretto, Véronique Bourg
Centre de Recherches sur la Cognition Animale, Centre de Biologie Intégrative, Université de Toulouse, CNRS, UPS, Toulouse, France.
DOI: 10.2340/20030711-1000009


Objective: Gait rehabilitation is a major concern for adults with an intellectual disability or a neuropsychological disorder. This study evaluated a collective task exercise that could complement an individual rehabilitation routine in such individuals. The movements of 3 individuals (2 patients and 1 healthy individual) were measured while walking alone and in pairs. The recovery rate, amplitude and speed of centre of mass of individuals walking alone were measured and compared with the values of the centre of mass of the system formed by pairs of individuals.
Results: When individuals were walking alone, all parameter values were lower in the 2 patients than in the healthy individual. When the patients were walking in pairs, their recovery rate decreased, but their speed increased when each of them was paired with a healthy individual. In pairs, the recovery rate and the amplitude of the centre of mass remained the same as when walking alone.
Conclusion: Gait rehabilitation does not appear to improve when intellectually disabled patients walk in pairs compared with when they walk alone. However, walking with a healthy individual seems to be more efficient.

Lay Abstract

A standard method to study locomotion is to analyze the trajectory of the center of mass of walking individuals. In our paper we propose to use this method to evaluate the changes in gait efficiency when such patients are walking alone and when they are walking in pairs linked by a load they transport. We worked with two patients suffering from an intellectual disability. These two patients could be paired either together or with their physiotherapist. Our results show that when the patients were walking in pairs their gait was less efficient than when walking alone. However, when the patients were paired with their physiotherapist, gait efficiency was the same as that as when they were walking alone. We suggest that this collective work could be used as a physical, social and mental exercise they could perform with their physiotherapist and that could be included in their rehabilitation routine.


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