Whole-Body Vibration Intensities in Chronic Stroke: A Randomized Controlled Trial

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PurposeA single-blinded randomized controlled study was conducted to investigate the effects of different whole-body vibration (WBV) intensities on body functions/structures, activity, and participation in individuals with stroke.MethodsEighty-four individuals with chronic stroke (mean age = 61.2 yr, SD = 9.2) with mild to moderate motor impairment (Chedoke–McMaster Stroke Assessment lower limb motor score: median = 9 out of 14, interquartile range = 7–11.8) were randomly assigned to a low-intensity WBV, high-intensity WBV, or control group. The former two groups performed various leg exercises while receiving low-intensity and high-intensity WBV, respectively. Controls performed the same exercises without WBV. All individuals received 30 training sessions over an average period of 75.5 d (SD = 5.2). Outcome measurements included knee muscle strength (isokinetic dynamometry), knee and ankle joint spasticity (Modified Ashworth Scale), balance (Mini Balance Evaluation Systems Test), mobility (Timed-Up-and-Go test), walking endurance (6-Minute Walk Test), balance self-efficacy (Activities-specific Balance Confidence scale), participation in daily activities (Frenchay Activity Index), perceived environmental barriers to societal participation (Craig Hospital Inventory of Environmental Factors), and quality of life (Short-Form 12 Health Survey). Assessments were performed at baseline and postintervention.ResultsIntention-to-treat analysis revealed a significant time effect for muscle strength, Timed-Up-and-Go distance, and oxygen consumption rate achieved during the 6-Minute Walk Test, the Mini Balance Evaluation Systems Test, the Activities-specific Balance Confidence scale, and the Short-Form 12 Health Survey physical composite score domain (P < 0.05). However, the time–group interaction was not significant for any of the outcome measures (P > 0.05).ConclusionThe addition of the 30-session WBV paradigm to the leg exercise protocol was no more effective in enhancing body functions/structures, activity, and participation than leg exercises alone in chronic stroke patients with mild to moderate motor impairments.

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