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Speed-Dependent Body Weight Supported Sit-to-Stand Training in Chronic Stroke: A Case Series

Boyne, Pierce PT, DPT; Israel, Susan PT, MPT; Dunning, Kari PT, PhD

Journal of Neurologic Physical Therapy: December 2011 - Volume 35 - Issue 4 - p 178–184
doi: 10.1097/NPT.0b013e318235d8b2
Case Studies

Background and Purpose: Body weight support (BWS) and speed-dependent training protocols have each been used for poststroke gait training, but neither approach has been tested in the context of sit-to-stand (STS) training. This study evaluated the feasibility and outcomes of speed-dependent BWS STS training for 2 persons with chronic stroke.

Case Descriptions: Two individuals 68 and 75 years old, and 2.3 and 8.7 years post-ischemic stroke, respectively, participated. Both exhibited right hemiparesis, required moderate (25%-50%) assistance for STS, and ambulated household distances with assistive devices.

Intervention: Participants performed speed-dependent BWS STS training 3 days/week for 45 to 60 minutes until able to perform STS independently. Gait parameters, the Stroke Impact Scale Mobility Domain (SIS-mobility), and the 3-Repetition STS test (3RSTS) were assessed before and after intervention.

Outcomes: Each participant completed more than 750 STS repetitions over the course of the intervention, achieving independence in 8 to 11 sessions. Aside from muscle soreness, no adverse effects occurred. Participants also exhibited increased gait velocity (0.17–0.24 m/s and 0.25–0.42 m/s), SIS-mobility score (78–88 and 63–66), and decreased 3RSTS time (18-8 seconds and 40-21 seconds).

Discussion: Speed-dependent BWS STS training appears to be a feasible and promising method to increase STS independence and speed for persons with chronic stroke. In this small case series, a potential transfer effect to gait parameters was also observed. Future randomized controlled study is warranted to evaluate efficacy and long-term effects.

Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, College of Allied Health Sciences, University of Cincinnati Academic Medical Center (P.B., K.D.), Cincinnati, Ohio; Drake Center (P.B., K.D.), Cincinnati, Ohio; and Neurosciences Doctoral Program (S.I.), University of Cincinnati, Ohio.

Correspondence: Pierce Boyne, The Drake Center, 151 W Galbraith Rd, Cincinnati, OH 45216, E-mail:

This work was supported by a Graduate Student Summer Research Fellowship from the University of Cincinnati Research Council (P.B.)

The Neurogym device used in this study was provided free of charge by the manufacturer.

The authors declare that they have no financial interest in the device, and the device manufacturer and/or distributor have had no influence on the reported results.

© 2011 Neurology Section, APTA