Does overground robotic gait training improve non-motor outcomes in patients with chronic stroke? Findings from a pilot study

Rosaria De Luca, Giuseppa Maresca, Tina Balletta, Antonino Cannavò, Simona Leonardi, Desiree Latella, Maria Grazia Maggio, Simona Portaro, Antonino Naro, Rocco Salvatore Calabrò

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Stroke is the leading cause of disability among the elderly in the industrialized world. No more than 40% of stroke survivors walk independently, and only after receiving appropriate rehabilitation treatment; many stroke patients have also non-motor symptoms. The aim of this pilot study is to evaluate the effects of Ekso-training on non-motor outcomes, including gastrointestinal function and psychological well-being, in post stroke patients. We enrolled 30 post-stroke subjects, which were randomized into two groups in order of recruitment: 15 patients were trained with the overground exoskeleton Ekso-GT (experimental group, EG), whereas 15 patients were submitted to a standard gait training (control group, CG). Both the groups underwent the same amount of physiotherapy. At the end of the training, only in the EG we observed a significant improvement in constipation, mood, and coping strategies, with regard to social support, as well as in the perception of quality of life (as per SF-12). According to these preliminary data, overground robotic gait training can be considered a valuable tool in improving non-motor symptoms, including constipation and behavioral disorders in patients with chronic stroke.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)240-245
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Neuroscience
Volume81
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020

Keywords

  • Chronic ischemic stroke
  • Constipation
  • Psychological well-being
  • Robotic gait training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)

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