Treadmill training with body weight support (TTBWS) and traditional walking training provided significant improvements in relearning walking ability after stroke, suggesting that similar outcomes can be obtained in the 2 modalities by systematic, intensive, and goal-directed training, say authors of an article published online September 28 in Disability and Rehabilitation.
Sixty patients referred for multidisciplinary primary rehabilitation were assigned into 1 of 2 intervention groups. One group received 30 sessions of TTBWS plus traditional training, the other received traditional training alone. Daily training was 1 hour. Outcome measures were Functional Ambulation Categories, Functional Independence Measure, shorter transfer and stairs, 10-meter walk test, and 6-minute walk test.
Substantial improvements in walking and transfer were shown within both groups after 5 and 11 weeks of intervention. Overall, no statistical significant differences were found between the groups, but 12 of 17 physical measures tended to show improvements in favor of the treadmill approach.