Author(s): Outermans JC, van Peppen RP, Wittink H, Takken T, Kwakkel G
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: To investigate the feasibility and the effects on gait of a high intensity task-oriented training, incorporating a high cardiovascular workload and large number of repetitions, in patients with subacute stroke, when compared to a low intensity physiotherapy-programme. DESIGN AND SUBJECTS: Randomized controlled clinical trial: Forty-four patients with stroke were recruited at 2 to 8 weeks after stroke onset. MEASURES: Maximal gait speed assessed with the 10-metre timed walking test (10MTWT), walking capacity assessed with the six-minute walk test (6MWT). Control of standing balance assessed with the Berg Balance Scale and the Functional Reach test. Group differences were analysed using a Mann-Whitney U-test. RESULTS: Between-group analysis showed a statistically significant difference in favour of the high intensity task-oriented training in performance on the 10MTWT (Z = -2.13, P = 0.03) and the 6MWT (Z = -2.26, P = 0.02). No between-group difference were found for the Berg Balance Scale (Z = -0.07, P = 0.45) and the Functional Reach test (Z = -0.21, P = 0.84). CONCLUSION: A high-intensity task-oriented training programme designed to improve hemiplegic gait and physical fitness was feasible in the present study and the effectiveness exceeds a low intensity physiotherapy-programme in terms of gait speed and walking capacity in patients with subacute stroke. In a future study, it seems appropriate to additionally use measures to evaluate physical fitness and energy expenditure while walking.
This article was published in Clin Rehabil
and referenced in Journal of Novel Physiotherapies