Effects of Robot-Assisted Gait Training on Cardiopulmonary Fitness in Subacute Stroke Patients: A Randomized Controlled Study
Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair, 06/04/2012
Chang WH et al. – Patients can be trained to increase their VO2 and lower–extremity strength using a robotic device for stepping during inpatient rehabilitation. This training has the potential to improve cardiopulmonary fitness in patients who are not yet independent ambulators, but that may require more than 2 weeks of continued, progressive training.Methods
- A prospective single-blinded, randomized controlled study of 37 patients receiving inpatient rehabilitation was performed within 1 month after stroke onset.
- The robot-assisted gait training group (n=20) received 40 minutes of gait training with Lokomat and 60 minutes of conventional physical therapy each day, whereas the control group (n=17) received 100 minutes of conventional physical therapy daily.
- Using a semirecumbent cycle ergometer, changes in cardiopulmonary fitness were investigated using incremental exercise testing.
- Motor and gait functional recovery was measured according to changes in the lower-extremity score of the Fugl-Meyer Assessment Scale (FMA-L), leg score of the Motricity Index (MI-L), and the Functional Ambulation Category (FAC).
- Compared with the control group, the robot group showed 12.8% improvement in peak VO2 after training (P<.05).
- Compared with the control group, the robot group also improved in FMA-L score (P<.05).