Electromechanical-assisted training for walking after stroke.

Mehrholz J, Werner C, Kugler J, Pohl M

The objective of this review was to investigate the effect of automated electromechanical and robotic-assisted gait training devices for improving walking after stroke. Eight trials (414 participants) were included in this review. Electromechanical-assisted gait training in combination with physiotherapy increased the odds of becoming independent in walking  and increased walking capacity but did not increase walking velocity significantly. The authors conclude that patients who receive electromechanical-assisted gait training in combination with physiotherapy after stroke are more likely to achieve independent walking than patients receiving gait training without these devices. However, further research should address specific questions, for example, which frequency or duration of electromechanical-assisted gait training might be most effective and at what time after stroke, and follow-up studies are needed to find out how long the benefit lasts.

Cochrane Database  of Systematic Reviews, 2007, 4, CD006185

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