Objective To explore the amount of practice and progression during task-oriented circuit training (TOCT) in chronic stroke survivors; to test the use of pedometers and observation-based measures in detecting step activity; to verify the possible correlation between step activity and locomotor function improvements.Methods Six community-dwelling chronic stroke survivors underwent 10 TOCT sessions (2 hours/each) over 2 weeks in which they were trained both on a treadmill and on six task-oriented workstations (W1-W6). During the sessions, they wore a piezoelectric pedometer and step activities were recorded. Outcome measures were as follows: % of activities during which pedometers worked properly; pedometer-based measures (total step counts, treadmill steps, workstation steps- total and W2,W3,W5,W6); observation-based measures (number of repetitions in task W1 and W4); walking speed changes measured by the 10-m walking test (10MWT) and walking endurance changes (6-minute walking test) after TOCT.Results During TOCT sessions (n=57), activities were recorded through pedometer-based measures in 4 out of the 6 patients. The total amount of step activity was 5,980.05±1,968.39 steps (54.29% in task-oriented workstations, 37.67% on treadmill, and 8.03% during breaks). Exercise progression was highlighted significantly by observational measures (W1, W4). A positive correlation was observed between increased gait speed and observational stair step repetitions progression (W1) (r=0.91, p=0.01) or pedometer-based tandem exercise step progression (W3) (r=0.98, p=0.01).Conclusion TOCT can be considered a high-intensity, progressive intervention to restore locomotor function in chronic stroke survivors. Pedometer-based measures might help in quantifying TOCT's volume of practice; however, further investigations are required.
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