Journal Article Effects of gait training using the Hybrid Assistive Limb® in recovery-phase stroke patients: A 2-month follow-up, randomized, controlled study

Watanabe, Hiroki  ,  Goto, Ryohei  ,  Tanaka, Naoki  ,  Matsumura, Akira  ,  Yanagi, Hisako

40 ( 3 )  , pp.363 - 367 , 2017-05 , IOS Press
BACKGROUND: Gait training using the Hybrid Assistive Limb® (HAL®) may have beneficial effects on post-stroke gait function and independent walking. However, the long-term and medium-term efficacies of gait training using HAL® in stroke patients remain unclear. OBJECTIVE: To compare the medium-term efficacy of gait training using a single-leg version of the Hybrid Assistive Limb® (HAL®) on the paretic side with conventional gait training (CGT) in recovery-phase stroke patients. METHODS: Twenty-four post-stroke participants (HAL® group: n = 12, CGT group: n = 12) completed the trial. Over 4 weeks, all participants received twelve 20-min sessions of either HAL® (using the single-leg version of HAL® on the paretic side) or conventional (performed by skilled and experienced physical therapists) gait training. Outcome measures were evaluated prior to training, after 12 sessions, and at 8 and 12 weeks after intervention initiation. Functional Ambulation Category (FAC) was the primary outcome measure. RESULTS: The HAL® group showed significant improvement in FAC after 12 sessions, and at 8 and 12 weeks compared to the conventional group (P = 0.02). CONCLUSIONS: The results suggested that a gait training program based on HAL® may improve independent walking more efficiently than CGT at 1 and 2 months after intervention.

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