Efficacy of Rehabilitation Robotics for Walking Training in Neurological Disorders: A ReviewBy Tefertiller, Candace; Pharo, Beth; Evans, Nicholas; Winchester, Patricia; Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development, Vol. 48, No. 4, pp. 387-416
Publication Date: 2011
Systematic review assessed the efficacy of robotic locomotor training on improvement in overground walking for adults with neurological injury or disease. For the study, 30 articles were reviewed that examined the effects of locomotor training with robotic assistance and partial body weight support in patients following stroke, spinal cord injury (SCI), multiple sclerosis (MS), traumatic brain injury (TBI), and Parkinson’s disease (PD). Each study examined one or more of the following: Lokomat (Hocoma), Electromechanical Gait Trainer (Reha-Stim), or LokoHelp (Lokohelp Group). Each study, of which 14 were randomized controlled trials (RCTs), was evaluated and rated using either the Physiotherapy Evidence Database scale for RCTs or the Downs and Black scale for non-RCTs. This review supports that locomotor training with robotic assistance is beneficial for improving walking function in individuals following a stroke and SCI. Gait speed and endurance were not found to be significantly different among patients with motor incomplete SCI after a variety of locomotor training approaches. Limited evidence demonstrated the benefits of locomotor training with robotic assistance in populations of patients with MS, TBI, or PD. Clinical implications, study limitations, and the need for further research in the area of gait rehabilitation for neurological dysfunction are discussed.
Assistive Products Discussed: LOKOMATPRO (VERSIONS 5 & 6)
VA Rehabilitation Research & Development Service (Web Site: http://www.rehab.research.va.gov )
Link to text: http://www.rehab.research.va.gov/jour/11/484/tefertiller484.html