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Neuroscience Journal
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 6808319, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/6808319
Research Article

Gait Training in Chronic Stroke Using Walk-Even Feedback Device: A Pilot Study

1Department of Physical Therapy, California State University, Long Beach, CA 90840, USA
2Electrical Engineering Department, California State University, Long Beach, CA 90840, USA
3Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering Department, California State University, Long Beach, CA 90840, USA

Received 3 May 2016; Revised 5 August 2016; Accepted 6 September 2016

Academic Editor: Pablo Mir

Copyright © 2016 V. Krishnan 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

Asymmetrical gait and a reduction in weight bearing on the affected side are a common finding in chronic stroke survivors. The purpose of this pilot study was to determine the effectiveness of a shoe insole device that we developed, called Walk-Even, in correcting asymmetric gait in chronic stroke survivors. Six individuals with chronic (>6 months) stroke underwent 8 weeks of intervention with 2 sessions/week, each consisting of 20 minutes of gait training and 20 minutes of lower-extremity strength training. The 2 control participants underwent conventional gait training, while 4 participants underwent gait training using the Walk-Even. Following intervention, all the participants improved on most of the gait measures: peak pressure of the foot, time of transfer of weight from heel-to-forefoot, center of pressure (COP) trajectory, COP velocity, asymmetry ratio of stance, mean-force-heel, mean-force-metatarsals, Timed “Up and Go,” and Activities-specific Balance Scale. The improvement was more pronounced in the 4 participants that underwent training with Walk-Even compared to the control participants. This pilot study suggests that a combination of strength and gait training with real-time feedback may reduce temporal asymmetry and enhance weight-bearing on the affected side in chronic stroke survivors. A large randomized controlled study is needed to confirm its efficacy.