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BioMed Research International
Volume 2016, Article ID 8459018, 10 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/8459018
Clinical Study

Device-Training for Individuals with Thoracic and Lumbar Spinal Cord Injury Using a Powered Exoskeleton for Technically Assisted Mobility: Achievements and User Satisfaction

BDH-Klinik Greifswald, Neurorehabilitation Centre and Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Unit, Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-Universität Greifswald, Karl-Liebknecht-Ring 26A, 17491 Greifswald, Germany

Received 17 March 2016; Revised 9 July 2016; Accepted 21 July 2016

Academic Editor: Luca Prosperini

Copyright © 2016 Thomas Platz 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

Objective. Results of a device-training for nonambulatory individuals with thoracic and lumbar spinal cord injury (SCI) using a powered exoskeleton for technically assisted mobility with regard to the achieved level of control of the system after training, user satisfaction, and effects on quality of life (QoL). Methods. Observational single centre study with a 4-week to 5-week intensive inpatient device-training using a powered exoskeleton (ReWalk). Results. All 7 individuals with SCI who commenced the device-training completed the course of training and achieved basic competences to use the system, that is, the ability to stand up, sit down, keep balance while standing, and walk indoors, at least with a close contact guard. User satisfaction with the system and device-training was documented for several aspects. The quality of life evaluation (SF-12v2) indicated that the use of the powered exoskeleton can have positive effects on the perception of individuals with SCI regarding what they can achieve physically. Few adverse events were observed: minor skin lesions and irritations were observed; no falls occurred. Conclusions. The device-training for individuals with thoracic and lumbar SCI was effective and safe. All trained individuals achieved technically assisted mobility with the exoskeleton while still needing a close contact guard.