The Effects of Body Weight Supported Treadmill Training On Balance In Stroke Patients


Phase N/A Results N/A

Trial Description

Stroke is one of the most common causes of acquired adult disability. The majority of stroke survivors have mobility difficulties such as poor standing, decreased walking speed, balance disturbances, and increased risk for falls. Improving mobility, functional walking and balance are the main goals of stroke rehabilitation. Robotic technologies are becoming more promising intervention for the locomotor training in stroke rehabilitation. Static or dynamic balance deficits act crucial role on gait performance among stroke survivors. Therefore it is important to determine the effects of BWSTT in improving balance in persons with stroke. Although it has been demonstrated that BWSTT improved balance and gait performance in stroke patients, it is not clear whether the improvements are greater compared with those associated with other gait rehabilitation methods. To the investigators knowledge, there are also limited studies in the literature concerning the effects of BWSTT on falling risk in stroke patients. The strong evidence is needed about the effectiveness of BWSTT including comprehensive determinants of balance with combined and isolated intervention groups.This study aims to compare the effects of BWSTT with combined and isolated intervention on balance, gait and fall risk in patients with subacute and chronic stroke. The investigators hypotheses are that after stroke:
1. the combination of BWSTT with conventional training may lead to more improved balance parameters;
2. when applied as an isolated intervention, BWSTT or conventional training may lead to similar results.

Detailed Description

All participants with stroke were recruited from a government rehabilitation hospital between November 2014 and November 2015. All treatments were performed in the same hospital.
Sample Size:
"Power and Sample Size Program" was used to calculate sample size. It was determined by considering a previous study which calculated minimal detectable change of Berg Balance Scale (BBS) for stroke patients(20). According to this study to the response within each subject group was normally distributed with standard deviation 7.87 and minimal detectable change was found 10% for BBS. It was calculated that 15 participants were needed in each group with probability (power) 0.8 and 0.016 alpha level computed by Bonferroni adjustment.
One hundred and seven stroke patient were assessed for eligibility by two physiatrists (B.E and B.G). Forty-two (13 women, range of age: 18-75 years) patients were found to be suitable for inclusion criteria of the study. Randomisation was performed by using randomisation function of Microsoft Office Excel programme by another researcher (ARO). Random number generator of Microsoft Office Excel Software gave a random number between 0 and 1 to the each treatment columns which were created by ARO. Sorting the random number row from the largest to the smallest number was performed by the sort and filter menu. Treatment assignments were stratified according to the severity of impairment at baseline and the study site to ensure balanced distribution among the three groups.After the randomisation,assessments at baseline and after training were performed by two physiotherapists who were blind to the interventions (IY, BEH). All the participants were treated in the rehabilitation hospital by a physiotherapist who was experienced in stroke rehabilitation. BWSTT Training was performed by RM.



  • Body Weight Supported Treadmill Training Other
    Intervention Desc: There were three intervention arms in this study, Body Weight Supported Treadmill Training, Conventional Training and Combined Training.
    ARM 1: Kind: Experimental
    Label: Body Weight Supported Treadmill Training
    Description: Body weight supported treadmill training (BWSTT) was composed of outpatients who were undertaken only BWST training with 45-minute sessions, 2 days a week during 6 weeks. BWST Training Locomat (Hocoma) was used in BWSTT group with 20 % body weight reduced. The participants walked on device at 1.8 km/h (0.5 m/sec) velocity. For each participant body weight portion was ensured by a security belt while walking. Each session took 45 minutes including setup, commands and rest time. Verbal instructions were used for encouragement but no manual assistance was given to improve gait pattern.

Trial Design

  • Allocation: Randomized
  • Masking: Single Blind (Outcomes Assessor)
  • Purpose: Treatment
  • Endpoint: Efficacy Study
  • Intervention: Parallel Assignment


Type Measure Time Frame Safety Issue
Primary Berg Balance Scale (BBS) 6 weeks No
Primary Single Leg Stance Test (SLST) 6 weeks No
Primary Timed Up and Go Test (TUG) 6 weeks No
Primary The Falls Efficacy Scale-International (FES-I) 6 weeks No
Secondary Rivermead Mobility Index (RMI) 6 weeks No
Secondary The Comfortable and the Fast Gait Speed tests (CGS and FGS) 6 weeks No
Secondary The Stair Climbing ascend and descend tests (SCas and SCde) 6 weeks No