The aim of the current study was to examine the effect of body weight support treadmill training (BWSTT) with power-assisted functional electrical stimulation on functional movement and gait in stroke patients.
Thirty stroke patients were randomly assigned to either the experimental group (n = 15) or the control group (n = 15). All subjects participated in the same standard rehabilitation program. In addition, the experimental group participated in BWSTT with power-assisted functional electrical stimulation for 30 mins per day, five times a week, for 4 wks, and those in the control group participated in BWSTT for 30 minutes per day, five times a week, for 4 wks. Functional movement was assessed using the Berg Balance Scale, the Timed Up and Go test, and the Stroke Rehabilitation Assessment of Movement. Gait ability was assessed using an electrical walkway system.
Significant differences in the time factor for functional movement and gait (P < 0.05) were observed in the experimental and control groups. For the group × time interaction, significant improvements were observed in the functional movement (Berg Balance Scale [10.93 vs. 6.00], Timed Up and Go test [−9.25 vs. −5.25 secs], and Stroke Rehabilitation Assessment of Movement scores [14.07 vs. 9.80]) and gait (velocity [40.07 vs. 18.64 cm/sec], cadence [30.57 vs. 17.75 steps per minute], paretic side step length [19.36 vs. 8.46 cm], and stride length [30.57 vs. 12.71 cm]) (P < 0.05).
The findings of the current study demonstrated the efficacy of BWSTT with power-assisted functional electrical stimulation on the functional movement and gait ability in stroke patients. Therefore, the authors suggest that power-assisted functional electrical stimulation may be an effective method for the improvement of functional movement and gait ability of stroke patients when added to BWSTT.