Feasibility of robotic-assisted locomotor training in children with central gait impairment
Version of Record online: 23 NOV 2007
Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology
Volume 49, Issue 12, pages 900–906, December 2007
How to Cite
Meyer-Heim, A., Borggraefe, I., Ammann-Reiffer, C., Berweck, S., Sennhauser, F. H., Colombo, G., Knecht, B. and Heinen, F. (2007), Feasibility of robotic-assisted locomotor training in children with central gait impairment. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology, 49: 900–906. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8749.2007.00900.x
- Issue online: 23 NOV 2007
- Version of Record online: 23 NOV 2007
- Accepted for publication 17th July 2007.
Intensive, task-specific training enabled by a driven gait orthosis (DGO) may be a cost-effective means of improving walking performance in children. A paediatric DGO has recently been developed. This study was the first paediatric trial aimed to determine the feasibility of robotic-assisted treadmill training in children with central gait impairment (n=26; 11 females, 15 males; mean age 10y 1mo [SD 4y]; range 5y 2mo-19y 5mo). Diagnoses of the study group included cerebral palsy (n=19; Gross Motor Function Classification System Levels I–IV), traumatic brain injury (n=1), Guillain-Barré syndrome (n=2), incomplete paraplegia (n=2), and haemorrhagic shock (n=1), and encephalopathy (n=1). Sixteen children were in-patients and 10 were outpatients. Twenty-four of the 26 patients completed the training which consisted of a mean of 19 sessions (SD 2.2; range 13–21) in the in-patient group and 12 sessions (SD 1.0; range 10–13) in the outpatient group. Gait speed and 6-Minute Walking Test increased significantly (p<0.01). Functional Ambulation Categories and Standing dimension (in-patient group p<0.01; outpatient group p<0.05) of the Gross Motor Function Measure improved significantly. DGO training was successfully integrated into the rehabilitation programme and findings suggest an improvement of locomotor performance.