Excellent Outcomes for Adults Who Experienced Early Standardized Treadmill Training During Acute Phase of Recovery from Stroke: A Case Series
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OBJECTIVE: To describe gait outcomes, including assistive device use and incidence of falls, in a group of adults post stroke who received early standardized treadmill training (ESTT) in the acute phase of rehabilitation. DESIGN: A case series of 18 individuals post stroke with varied lesion size, location, and comorbidities. SETTING: Inpatient rehabilitation unit. INTERVENTION: Daily 30-minute sessions of ESTT initiated before overground training in the acute rehabilitation period. OUTCOME MEASURES: Three-dimensional gait analysis, 6-minute walk test (6MWT), assistive device inventory, and fall history. RESULTS: Gait analysis revealed better temporal and spatial symmetry than have been previously documented. Twelve participants walked at speeds of greater than 0.80 m/s and 10 walked without the use of an assistive device or orthoses. Mean 6MWT distance was 322.42 m (±114.33). Thirteen participants (72%) reported no falls over a 6-month period. CONCLUSION: These outcomes far surpass the current data reported in the literature for this patient population and were achieved by the application of an intervention that was feasible in the acute rehabilitation setting.
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