Effect of Robot-Assisted Gait Training in a Large Population of Children With Motor Impairment Due to Cerebral Palsy or Acquired Brain Injury

Elena Beretta, Fabio Alexander Storm, Sandra Strazzer, Flaminia Frascarelli, Maurizio Petrarca, Alessandra Colazza, Giampietro Cordone, Emilia Biffi, Roberta Morganti, Cristina Maghini, Luigi Piccinini, Gianluigi Reni, Enrico Castelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objective: To evaluate retrospectively the effect of robotic rehabilitation in a large group of children with motor impairment; an additional goal was to identify the effects in children with cerebral palsy (CP) and acquired brain injury (ABI) and with different levels of motor impairment according to the Gross Motor Function Classification System. Finally, we examined the effect of time elapsed from injury on children's functions. Design: A cohort, pretest-posttest retrospective study was conducted. Setting: Hospitalized care. Participants: A total of 182 children, 110 with ABI and 72 with CP and with Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) levels I-IV, were evaluated retrospectively. Interventions: Patients underwent a combined treatment of robot-assisted gait training and physical therapy. Main Outcome Measures: All the patients were evaluated before and after the training using the 6-minute walk test and the Gross Motor Function Measure. A linear mixed model with 3 fixed factors and 1 random factor was used to evaluate improvements. Results: The 6-minute walk test showed improvement in the whole group and in both ABI and CP. The Gross Motor Function Measure showed improvement in the whole group and in the patients with ABI but not in children with CP. The GMFCS analysis showed that all outcomes improved significantly in all classes within the ABI subgroup, whereas improvements were significant only for GMFCS III in children with CP. Conclusions: Children with motor impairment can benefit from a combination of robotic rehabilitation and physical therapy. Our data suggest positive results for the whole group and substantial differences between ABI and CP subgroups, with better results for children with ABI, that seem to be consistently related to time elapsed from injury.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)106-112
Number of pages7
JournalArchives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Volume101
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2019

Keywords

  • Brain injuries
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Neurological rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation

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