The purpose of this systematic review was to summarize the effect of daily use of single-channel foot drop stimulation among persons with stroke. Randomized controlled trials were searched using electronic databases through May 2014. Six randomized controlled trials were included, involving 820 participants. Gait speed was the most common outcome measured. Other common outcomes included Timed Up and Go, modified Emory Functional Ambulation Profile, Berg Balance Scale, Physiologic Cost Index, Six-Minute Walk Test, quality-of-life, and lower extremity Fugl-Meyer. In summary, foot drop stimulation and ankle foot orthoses seem effective and “equivalent” for increasing gait speed. Other outcomes that consistently improved in both groups were the Timed Up and Go and Six-Minute Walk Test. Foot drop stimulation was more effective compared with ankle foot orthosis for decreasing Physiologic Cost Index and seemed to be preferred by participants. Physical therapy may facilitate improvement in both foot drop stimulation and ankle foot orthosis groups.
From the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, College of Allied Health Sciences, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio (KD); Division of Rehabilitation Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, New York (MWO); Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, Kansas (PK); and Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, and Bioness Inc, Valencia, California (KM).
All correspondence and requests for reprints should be addressed to: Kari Dunning, PT, PhD, Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, College of Allied Health Sciences, University of Cincinnati, 3202 Eden Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45267-0394.
Dunning, O’Dell, Kluding, and McBride were authors for one of the four recent trials included in this review. Keith McBride is Vice President of Product Development and Marketing, Bioness Inc.
This systematic review was not funded.
Financial disclosure statements have been obtained, and no conflicts of interest have been reported by the authors or by any individuals in control of the content of this article.