Treadmill training to improve mobility for people with sub-acute stroke: a phase II feasibility randomized controlled trial

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid



This phase II study investigated the feasibility and potential effectiveness of treadmill training versus normal gait re-education for ambulant and non-ambulant people with sub-acute stroke delivered as part of normal clinical practice.


A single-blind, feasibility randomized controlled trial.


Four hospital-based stroke units.


Participants within three months of stroke onset.


Participants were randomized to treadmill training (minimum twice weekly) plus normal gait re-education or normal gait re-education only (control) for up to eight weeks.

Main Measures:

Measures were taken at baseline, after eight weeks of intervention and at six-month follow-up. The primary outcome was the Rivermead Mobility Index. Other measures included the Functional Ambulation Category, 10-metre walk, 6-minute walk, Barthel Index, Motor Assessment Scale, Stroke Impact Scale and a measure of confidence in walking.


In all, 77 patients were randomized, 39 to treadmill and 38 to control. It was feasible to deliver treadmill training to people with sub-acute stroke. Only two adverse events occurred. No statistically significant differences were found between groups. For example, Rivermead Mobility Index, median (interquartile range (IQR)): after eight weeks treadmill 5 (4–9), control 6 (4–11) p = 0.33; or six-month follow-up treadmill 8.5 (3–12), control 8 (6–12.5) p = 0.42. The frequency and intensity of intervention was low.


Treadmill training in sub-acute stroke patients was feasible but showed no significant difference in outcomes when compared to normal gait re-education. A large definitive randomized trial is now required to explore treadmill training in normal clinical practice.

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles