The purpose of this study was to identify and evaluate the effect of a new protocol of physiotherapy to retrain walking ability after stroke in subjects older than fifty-five. This protocol was composed of specific, clearly defined and reproducible techniques, based on clinical and functional criteria.
Stroke is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in adults and the leading cause of disability in all developed countries. Its incidence is approximately one million per year in the European Union.
It produces a huge social impact, not only because of mortality but also by the high demand for health and social services that involve its disabling effects on more than thirty thousand Spanish every year. Hemiplegia is the most common physical consequence of stroke and it is defined as the complete paralysis of the upper and lower extremities of one body side. However, other consequences as perceptual, cognitive, sensory and communication problems should be considered in the physiotherapy treatment.
Age is the most important risk indicator of stroke as it represents an exponential increase in incidence. After the age of 55 the risk doubles for every decade and triples at 80. After rehabilitation, most people who have suffered a stroke get to walk independently or with some technical help, but approximately 50-60% continue to have a certain degree of motor impairment and approximately 50% are, at least in part, dependent for daily life activities. Therefore, gait recovery is one of the main objectives in the rehabilitation process of stroke survivors.
Regarding the process of rehabilitation after stroke, currently, there is insufficient evidence to conclude that any of the physical therapy approaches is more effective to promote recovery of lower limb function or postural control than any other. Thus, future research should focus on determining the effectiveness of individual techniques clearly described and specific treatments for each problem regardless of their approach. Furthermore, after reviewing the different approaches of physiotherapy rehabilitation after stroke, no physiotherapy treatment protocols based on clinical status of the patient have been found. Instead, vague and general instructions are given, so it is necessary to clarify what to do, when and what is the effectiveness of these techniques.
On the other hand, studies have scarcely taken into account the special characteristics of the elderly as a population group so involved in this pathology.
This study aims at addressing these issues, since its main objective is to identify and evaluate the effect of a protocol of physiotherapy to retrain walking ability after stroke in patients older than fifty-five, composed of specific, clearly defined and reproducible techniques, based on clinical and functional criteria.
- Conventional physiotherapy Other
Intervention Desc: Physiotherapy techniques that included muscle training, stretching and endurance. ARM 1: Kind: Experimental Label: Control group Description: Conventional physiotherapy for stroke. ARM 2: Kind: Experimental Label: Target group Description: Techniques based on patients' functional level were added.
- Techniques based on patients' functional level were added. Other
Intervention Desc: The added techniques aimed to improve balance and movement dissociation. ARM 1: Kind: Experimental Label: Target group Description: Techniques based on patients' functional level were added.
- Allocation: Randomized
- Masking: Double Blind (Subject, Caregiver, Investigator)
- Purpose: Treatment
- Endpoint: Efficacy Study
- Intervention: Parallel Assignment
|Type||Measure||Time Frame||Safety Issue|
|Primary||Barthel Index||up to 6 months||No|