COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE
MULTICENTER STUDY
RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL

Multicenter randomized clinical trial evaluating the effectiveness of the Lokomat in subacute stroke

Joseph Hidler, Diane Nichols, Marlena Pelliccio, Kathy Brady, Donielle D Campbell, Jennifer H Kahn, T George Hornby
Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair 2009, 23 (1): 5-13
19109447

OBJECTIVE: To compare the efficacy of robotic-assisted gait training with the Lokomat to conventional gait training in individuals with subacute stroke.

METHODS: A total of 63 participants<6 months poststroke with an initial walking speed between 0.1 to 0.6 m/s completed the multicenter, randomized clinical trial. All participants received twenty-four 1-hour sessions of either Lokomat or conventional gait training. Outcome measures were evaluated prior to training, after 12 and 24 sessions, and at a 3-month follow-up exam. Self-selected overground walking speed and distance walked in 6 minutes were the primary outcome measures, whereas secondary outcome measures included balance, mobility and function, cadence and symmetry, level of disability, and quality of life measures.

RESULTS: Participants who received conventional gait training experienced significantly greater gains in walking speed (P=.002) and distance (P=.03) than those trained on the Lokomat. These differences were maintained at the 3-month follow-up evaluation. Secondary measures were not different between the 2 groups, although a 2-fold greater improvement in cadence was observed in the conventional versus Lokomat group.

CONCLUSIONS: For subacute stroke participants with moderate to severe gait impairments, the diversity of conventional gait training interventions appears to be more effective than robotic-assisted gait training for facilitating returns in walking ability.

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