Body weight-supported treadmill training versus conventional gait training for people with chronic traumatic brain injury

Tracy H Brown, Julie Mount, Bethany L Rouland, Katherine A Kautz, Renee M Barnes, Jihye Kim
Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation 2005, 20 (5): 402-15

OBJECTIVES: To compare body weight support treadmill training (BWSTT) to conventional overground gait training (COGT).

DESIGN: Randomized controlled trial.

SETTING: Residential rehabilitation center.

PARTICIPANTS: Twenty subjects with chronic traumatic brain injury (TBI).

INTERVENTION: The BWSTT or COGT for 15 minutes plus 30 minutes of exercise 2 days per week, for 3 months.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Functional Ambulation Category (FAC), Functional Reach (FR), Timed Up and Go; gait velocity, step width (BOS) and step length differential using instrumented gait mat.

RESULTS: Step width approached the norm without between-group differences. Step length differential improved significantly more for the COGT.

CONCLUSIONS: Physical therapy can improve gait for patients more than 6 years post-TBI. The COGT is more effective than the BWSTT for improving gait symmetry during overground walking.

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