Comparison of end-effector and exoskeleton devices with robot-assisted gait training in patients with stroke
Keywords:robot-assisted gait training, stroke, end-effector robot, exoskeleton robot
Background/Aim: Loss of gait is the key problem after stroke. Robotic rehabilitation devices, which constitute the new treatment alternatives for stroke, can be divided into two groups on the basis of their design, the exoskeletons and end-effectors. This study aims to investigate the effects of gait training with two different types of robot on rehabilitation outcomes in patients with stroke. Methods: Twenty-four patients treated for stroke between December 2015 and December 2018 were included in the study. They were randomly divided into two groups for rehabilitation with either the exoskeleton or the end-effector. They attended the robotic rehabilitation programme for five days a week for six weeks, with each session lasting for 40 minutes. They were evaluated in terms of motor stage, ambulation, walking speed and walking capacity at the start and end of the programme. Results: According to baseline evaluations, there were higher scores in the endpoint evaluations for motor stage, ambulation, 6-minute walking test and lower scores in the endpoint evaluations for 10-meter walking test (P<0.001 for all). There was no difference between the two groups in terms of motor phase, ambulation, 6-minute walking or 10-meter walking scores (P>0.05 for all). Conclusion: In patients with stroke, improvements were observed following robot-assisted gait training. No superiority was observed between the end-effector device with the exoskeleton device.
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