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A Journal on Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation after Pathological Events

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (SIMFER), European Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (ESPRM), European Union of Medical Specialists - Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine Section (UEMS-PRM), Mediterranean Forum of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (MFPRM), Hellenic Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (EEFIAP)
In association with International Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (ISPRM)
Indexed/Abstracted in: CINAHL, Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
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European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine 2018 Mar 07

DOI: 10.23736/S1973-9087.18.04819-0


language: English

Training for mobility with exoskeleton robot in person with Spinal Cord Injury: a pilot study

Patrizio SALE 1 , Emanuele F. RUSSO 2, Alessandra SCARTON 3, Rocco S. CALABRÒ 4, Stefano MASIERO 1, Serena FILONI 2

1 Rehabilitation Unit, Department of Neuroscience, University of Padua, Padua, Italy; 2 Fondazione Centri di Riabilitazione Padre Pio Onlus, San Giovanni Rotondo, Foggia, Italy; 3 Invictus Rehabilitation Center, Ponte San Nicolò, Padua, Italy; 4 IRCCS Centro, Neurolesi “Bonino-Pulejo”, Messina, Italy


BACKGROUND: Wearable robots are people-oriented robots designed to be worn all day, thus helping in the daily activities. They can assist in walking, running, jumping higher or even lifting objects too heavy in normal conditions.
AIM: The aim of this report was thus to investigate the change in gait pattern trough 3D gait analysis subjects with Spinal Cord Injury (PwSCI) that underwent an adaptive training with a wearable Exoskeletal Device (ESD). The change in the quality of life was also investigate together with the possibility to wear these devices all day, to improve the mobility.
DESIGN: Prospective quasi-experimental study, pre- and post-design.
SETTING: Outpatient PwSCI.
POPULATION: Eight volunteer PwSCI who had never used any ESD device before, were recruited.
METHODS: Subjects underwent a 3D Gait Analysis (GA) while wearing the ESD at baseline (inclusion) (T0) and after 20 sessions of training over an expected average of 5/6 weeks (T1). The secondary outcome measures were: Participant Satisfaction Questionnaire, 6 minutes walking test (6MWT), Borg Scale (the test was administered in indoor and outdoor conditions) and Timed Up and Go test (TUG). Spatiotemporal and kinematic parameters were assessed and their change from the beginning to the end of the training was the secondary outcome.
RESULTS: No dropouts were recorded during the training and all subjects were able to terminate the protocol (compliant subjects: n=8). After the training, all person showed some significant improvements for TUG, 6MWT and 10 MWT (Z=-2.521 p=0.008) and for the spatio-temporal and kinematics parameters.
CONCLUSIONS: This paper confirms that the adaptive training with ESD is safe and feasible in a heterogeneous sample of persons with SCI, especially in ameliorating the interaction between the patients and the device with an improvement of spatio-temporal and kinematics parameters.
CLINICAL REHABILITATION IMPACT: Since the training has been proven safe and the hypothesis that the subjects with spinal cord injury improving their performance over time and being able to adapt at the use of device in full autonomy at home during all the activities of the daily living has strengthened.

KEY WORDS: Spinal cord injury - Gait analysis - Rehabilitation - Exoskeleton - Wearable robotics - Mobility

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Publication History

Article first published online: March 7, 2018
Manuscript accepted: March 6, 2018
Manuscript revised: February 16, 2018
Manuscript received: May 15, 2017

Cite this article as

Sale P, Russo EF, Scarton A, Calabrò RS, Masiero S, Filoni S. Training for mobility with exoskeleton robot in person with Spinal Cord Injury: a pilot study. Eur J Phys Rehabil Med 2018 Mar 07. DOI: 10.23736/S1973-9087.18.04819-0

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