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Is robot-assisted training better for walking than conventional therapy? Study: No

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  • Is robot-assisted training better for walking than conventional therapy? Study: No

    Robot-assisted gait training is not superior to intensive overground walking in multiple sclerosis with severe disability (the RAGTIME study): A randomized controlled trial

    Sofia Straudi, Fabio Manfredini, Nicola Lamberti, ...

    First Published March 4, 2019 Research Article
    https://doi.org/10.1177/1352458519833901

    Abstract

    Background:
    Rehabilitation may attenuate the impact on mobility of patients with progressive multiple sclerosis (MS) and severe gait disabilities.

    Objective:
    In this randomized controlled trial, we compared robot-assisted gait training (RAGT) with conventional therapy (CT) in terms of gait speed, mobility, balance, fatigue and quality of life (QoL).

    Methods:
    Seventy-two patients with MS (expanded disability status scale score 6.07.0) were randomized to receive 12 training sessions over a 4-week period of RAGT (n = 36) or overground walking therapy (n = 36). The primary outcome was gait speed, assessed by the timed 25-foot walk test. Secondary outcome measures were walking endurance, balance, depression, fatigue and QoL. Tests were performed at baseline, intermediate, at the end of treatment and at a 3-month follow-up.

    Results:
    Sixty-six patients completed the treatments. At the end of treatment with respect to baseline, both groups significantly improved gait speed (p < 0.001) and most secondary outcomes without between-group differences. Outcome values returned to baseline at follow-up.

    Conclusions:
    RAGT was not superior to CT in improving gait speed in patients with progressive MS and severe gait disabilities where a positive, even transitory, effect of rehabilitation was observed.
    Dave Bexfield
    ActiveMSers
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