The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews has published ‘Electromechanical-assisted training for walking after stroke’.
The researchers included all randomised controlled trials and randomised controlled cross-over trials in people over the age of 18 years diagnosed with stroke of any severity, at any stage, in any setting, evaluating electromechanical- and robotic-assisted gait training versus normal care.
The Authors concluded that people who receive electromechanical-assisted gait training in combination with physiotherapy after stroke are more likely to achieve independent walking than people who receive gait training without these devices. Specifically, people in the first three months after stroke and those who are not able to walk seem to benefit most from this type of intervention. The role of the type of device is still not clear.
Further research should consist of large definitive pragmatic phase III trials undertaken to address specific questions about the most effective frequency and duration of electromechanical-assisted gait training as well as how long any benefit may last.
Read the full report here