Ambulation Training With and Without Partial Weightbearing After Traumatic Brain Injury: Results of a Randomized, Controlled Trial

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Abstract

Objective:

To test the hypothesis that 8 wks of partial weight-bearing gait retraining improves functional ambulation to a greater extent than traditional physical therapy in individuals after traumatic brain injury.

Design:

A randomized, open-label, controlled, cohort study was conducted at two inpatient university-based rehabilitation hospitals. A total of 38 adults with a primary diagnosis of traumatic brain injury and significant gait abnormalities received either 8 wks of standard physical therapy or physical therapy supplemented with partial weight-bearing gait training twice weekly.

Results:

Significant (P < 0.05) improvements were detected in both groups on Functional Ambulation Category, Standing Balance Scale, Rivermead Mobility Index, and FIM®. However, no differences were found between the treatment groups.

Conclusions:

Results did not support the hypothesis that 8 wks of partial weight-bearing gait retraining improves functional ambulation to a greater extent than traditional physical therapy in individuals after traumatic brain injury based on common clinical measures.

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