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ISRN Rehabilitation
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 157410, 5 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/157410
Research Article

Metronome-Cued Stepping in Place after Hemiparetic Stroke: Comparison of a One- and Two-Tone Beat

1School of Psychology, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK
2West Midlands Rehabilitation Centre, Birmingham Community Healthcare Trust, Birmingham B29 6HZ, UK
3School of Allied Health Professions, University of East Anglia, Norwich NR4 7TJ, UK

Received 30 August 2013; Accepted 24 September 2013

Academic Editors: G. N. Lewis and C. I. Renner

Copyright © 2013 Rachel L. Wright et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Hemiparetic gait is characterised by temporal asymmetry and variability, and these variables are improved by auditory cueing. Stepping in place incorporates aspects of gait and may be a useful tool for locomotor training. The aim of this pilot study was to investigate the use of a single-tone and dual-tone metronome to cue stepping in place after hemiparetic stroke. Eight participants completed an uncued baseline stepping condition and two cued stepping conditions utilising a single-tone and a dual-tone metronome. Step times were determined from force plate data, and asymmetry and variability were calculated for the three conditions. Step time asymmetry was significantly reduced in the single-tone condition compared to baseline, and paretic step time variability was significantly reduced in both cued conditions. The single-tone metronome appeared to be preferred to the dual-tone metronome based on participant feedback. The results of this pilot study suggest that metronome cueing produces similar benefits on stepping in place to previously reported findings in walking. Further research on whether stepping in place to a metronome can be used for locomotor training is needed.