Date of Award

2003

Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)

Department

Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Cindy Flom-Meland

Keywords

Gait Disorders, Neurologic -- rehabilitation

Abstract

Cerebrovascular accident (CV A) is the primary cause of disability in the United States. l It is estimated that 75% of those who have a CVA survive and function with multiple degrees of impairments. These impairments impact their activities of daily living in a variety of ways. One of the goals of rehabilitation is to minimize the negative effects a CVA has on the functioning of an individual and allow each person to reach his or her maximum potential. Limited research has been conducted exploring the positive outcomes of partial body weight support treadmill training (PBWSTT) in those who have experienced a neurological insult. More research is needed to discover the effects partial body weight support has on individuals. If this training is found to be beneficial in a population of clients with a CV A, then there is a possibility that the effects could carry over to other neurological populations.

Purpose: The purpose of this study is to determine if partial body weight support system improves the quality of gait, postural control, and speed in adults diagnosed with a CV A over a period of six weeks, attending sessions three times per week.

Subjects & Methods: The four subjects who participated in this study all have the neurological diagnosis of CV A. They ranged in age from 50 to 78 years old. Four methods were used to gather initial and final data for the six-week study to illustrate outcomes gained. The methods utilized were the Berg Balance Measure, a template recording of footprints, the gait portion of the Tinetti Assessment Tool, and the lO-Meter Timed Walk.

Results: Results of this study were more apparent qualitatively than quantitatively. Each individual demonstrated improvements in one or more categories in the areas of postural control, gait quality, and speed. The most significant improvements were seen in gait speed and symmetry.

Conclusion: Following a review of literature, the participation in the six-week study, and analyzing its results, we concluded that PBWSTT is indeed a beneficial rehabilitation tool for the population that has experienced a eVA. The researchers feel that the improvements in our subjects will increase functional capacities leading to a better quality of life.

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