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ISSN: 2329-9096

International Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
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Research Article

Robotic Assist-As-Needed as an Alternative to Therapist-Assisted Gait Rehabilitation

Shraddha Srivastava1*, Pei Chun Kao2, Darcy S Reisman3, John P Scholz3, Sunil K Agrawal4 and Jill S Higginson5

1Department of Health Sciences and Research, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC 29425, USA

2Department of Physical Therapy, University of Massachusetts Lowell, Lowell, MA 01854, USA

3Department of Physical Therapy, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19713, USA

4Department of Mechanical Engineering, Columbia University, USA

5Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Delaware, USA

Corresponding Author:
Shraddha Srivastava
Department of Health Sciences and Research, College of Health Professions, Medical University of South Carolina, 77 President Street, Charleston, SC 29425, USA
Tel: 8437926165
Fax: 8437922829
E-mail: [email protected]

Received Date: September 25, 2016; Accepted Date: October 07, 2016; Published Date: October 12, 2016

Citation: Srivastava S, Kao PC, Reisman DS, Scholz JP, Agrawal SK, et al. (2016) Robotic Assist-As-Needed as an Alternative to Therapist-Assisted Gait Rehabilitation. Int J Phys Med Rehabil 4:370. doi: 10.4172/2329-9096.1000370

Copyright: © 2016 Srivastava S, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Objective: Body Weight Supported Treadmill Training (BWSTT) with therapists’ assistance is often used for gait rehabilitation post-stroke. However, this training method is labor-intensive, requiring at least one or as many as three therapists at once for manual assistance. Previously, we demonstrated that providing movement guidance using a performance-based robot-aided gait training (RAGT) that applies a compliant, assist-as-needed force-field improves gait pattern and functional walking ability in people post-stroke. In the current study, we compared the effects of assist-as-needed RAGT combined with functional electrical stimulation and visual feedback with BWSTT to determine if RAGT could serve as an alternative for locomotor training. Methods: Twelve stroke survivors were randomly assigned to one of the two groups, either receiving BWSTT with manual assistance or RAGT with functional electrical stimulation and visual feedback. All subjects received fifteen 40-minutes training sessions. Results: Clinical measures, kinematic data, and EMG data were collected before and immediately after the training for fifteen sessions. Subjects receiving RAGT demonstrated significant improvements in their selfselected over-ground walking speed, Functional Gait Assessment, Timed Up and Go scores, swing-phase peak knee flexion angle, and muscle coordination pattern. Subjects receiving BWSTT demonstrated significant improvements in the Six-minute walk test. However, there was an overall trend toward improvement in most measures with both interventions, thus there were no significant between-group differences in the improvements following training. Conclusion: The current findings suggest that RAGT worked at least as well as BWSTT and thus may be used as an alternative rehabilitation method to improve gait pattern post-stroke as it requires less physical effort from the therapists compared to BWSTT.


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