Navigation Links
Stroke Survivors Walk Better With Human Help

Rehab with therapist had more benefit than those using robotic devices, study finds

THURSDAY, May 8 (HealthDay News) -- Stroke survivors derive much more benefit from walking therapy when it's conducted by a physical therapist instead of a robotic device, report researchers at the University of Illinois in Chicago.

When stroke patients are too weak to walk on their own, physical therapists fit the patients in a harness, put them on a treadmill and help them move. Because this can be physically demanding, robotic devices have been developed as an alternative.

"We wanted to know whether using a robotic device that guides the limb in a symmetrical walking pattern would facilitate greater improvements in walking speed and symmetry than more traditional walking interventions with a physical therapist," study author T. George Hornby, an assistant professor in the physical therapy department, said in a prepared statement.

The study included 48 people who'd suffered strokes at least six months earlier and still had moderate to severe trouble walking due to weakness on one side of the body. The patients were randomly assigned to receive physical therapist-assisted or robotic-assisted locomotor therapy. All the patients received a dozen 30-minute therapy sessions during the four to five weeks of the study.

"We found that stroke patients improved their walking whether they had the robotic device or the therapist helping them. However, the amount of improvement was greater in the therapist-assisted group," Hornby said.

Patients in the therapist-assisted group showed greater improvements in walking speed and in the amount of time spent on the weak leg during therapy. Among patients who had severe walking deficits, those in the therapist-assisted group -- but not those in the robotic-assisted group -- felt their quality of life improved after therapy because they had fewer physical limitations.

The fact that therapist-assisted training allows for patient error, while the robotic device controls movement and minimizes errors, may explain the differences between the two groups.

"When learning to walk again, if people can make mistakes and realize their errors and change their behavior based on those errors, they may learn better," Hornby said. "We also think that patients work harder and therefore improve more with therapists because the robotic device moved patients' legs for them throughout the therapy. Therapists only help as needed."

The study appears in the current issue of Stroke.

Hornby and colleagues suggested that robotic-assisted therapy may be best for stroke patients who have no ability to walk on their own, while therapist-assisted training is best for those who can walk independently, even at very slow speeds.

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke has more about stroke rehabilitation.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: American Heart Association, news release, May 8, 2008

Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. The American Heart Association and Comcast Team Up to Strike Out Stroke
2. Anti-Clotting Drug as Good as Aspirin at Stopping Second Stroke
3. TorreyPines Therapeutics Licenses Intellectual Property from Johns Hopkins Related to Novel Uses of Glutamate Receptor Antagonists for Prevention, Treatment of Stroke, Heart Attack
4. Hundreds of Heart Disease and Stroke Survivors Urge Congress to Step Up the Fight Against the Nations No. 1 Killer
5. Higher Wealth Linked to Lower Risk of Early Stroke
6. Migraines Frequency Influences Heart Attack, Stroke Risk
7. Prolonged Fasting Boosts Risk of Rare Stroke
8. Risk of Womens Heart Attack or Stroke Appears to Be Lowered by DASH Diet
9. Special Treadmill Helps Stroke Patients Regain Normal Gait
10. Its neck-and-neck down the long stretch for 2 stroke-prevention procedures
11. Stenting as Good as Surgery for Stroke Prevention
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/27/2015)... CA (PRWEB) , ... November 27, 2015 , ... According ... at the recent 2015 American Dental Association meeting in Washington D.C. revolved around the ... protect a patient’s overall health. The talk stressed the link between periodontal disease (more ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... The ... in America. As people age, more care is needed, especially with Alzheimer’s, dementia ... medical professionals are being overworked. The forgotten part of this equation: 80 percent ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... "When I was traveling, ... from Hillside, N.J. "Many people catch diseases simply from sitting on such dirty ... be protected from germs." , He developed the patent-pending QUDRATECS to eliminate the ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... 27, 2015 , ... ProSidebar: Fashion is a set of 30 ... ProSidebar: Fasion, video editors can easily add an informative sidebar to any FCPX production. ... Utilize presets featuring self-animating drop zones, lines, bars, and text with the ease of ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... Intellitec ... Dynamics SL User Group (MSDSLUG). Recognized as Microsoft’s official group for end users ... Dynamics SL software users, partners, industry experts and representatives. Intellitec Solutions’ membership status ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... , Nov. 26, 2015 Research ... addition of the "2016 Future Horizons and ... (TDM) Market: Supplier Shares, Country Segment Forecasts, Competitive ... --> --> ... analysis of the Italian therapeutic drug monitoring market, ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... 25, 2015 ... the "Global Brain Monitoring Devices Market ... --> ) has announced the ... Devices Market 2015-2019" report to their ... ( ) has announced the addition ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... 25, 2015  The American Academy of Pediatrics ... and the March of Dimes cheered today,s signature ... Infants Act of 2015 (S.799), which takes ... born exposed to drugs, such as opioids, and ... all three organizations have worked together leading advocacy ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: