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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 168-173

Implementing robotic-assisted gait training in acute inpatient stroke rehabilitation: A quality improvement initiative


1 Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, MossRehab, Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, USA
2 Department of Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Informatics, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Ning Cao
MossRehab, Elkins Park, Pennsylvania
USA
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/JISPRM-000130

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Background: The recovery of independent walking is one of the major goals of stroke rehabilitation; however, due to the current acute inpatient rehabilitation care paradigm, the intensity of walking practice provided has been far below that recommended for motor recovery to occur. A quality improvement initiative was implemented to encourage the physical therapist (PT) to incorporate various robotic gait training devices as part of the standard allotted PT sessions to improve the intensity of gait training. Materials and Methods: After 6 months, a retrospective review was performed to assess the feasibility of the robotic-assisted gait training (RAGT) intervention in limited-ambulatory stroke patients and determine preliminary efficacy of the RAGT program by analyzing Functional Index Measure (FIM) motor gain and accelerometer-based daily step counts in patients who received the RAGT versus a group treated with conventional therapy. Results: About 30% of limited-ambulatory patients admitted to the stroke rehabilitation unit received consistent integrated RAGT without safety concerns. Compared to those who received conventional treatment, these patients showed greater mean FIM motor gain (32.30 versus 17.88) at discharge (P < 0.005) and higher number of step counts in PT sessions (P < 0.005). Age, gender, or admission FIM motor were not associated with FIM motor gain. Conclusions: Across a 6-month initial implementation period, RAGT was feasible and was associated with higher repetition of walking practice and also with improved FIM motor scores in limited-ambulatory individuals in an acute inpatient stroke rehabilitation program. However, the frequency of RAGT and the percentage of patients participating need to further improve. Some strategies to address these concerns were identified.


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