Speed-Dependent Body Weight Supported Sit-to-Stand Training in Chronic Stroke: A Case Series

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Abstract

Background and Purpose:

Body weight support (BWS) and speed-dependent training protocols have each been used for poststroke gait training, but neither approach has been tested in the context of sit-to-stand (STS) training. This study evaluated the feasibility and outcomes of speed-dependent BWS STS training for 2 persons with chronic stroke.

Case Descriptions:

Two individuals 68 and 75 years old, and 2.3 and 8.7 years post-ischemic stroke, respectively, participated. Both exhibited right hemiparesis, required moderate (25%-50%) assistance for STS, and ambulated household distances with assistive devices.

Intervention:

Participants performed speed-dependent BWS STS training 3 days/week for 45 to 60 minutes until able to perform STS independently. Gait parameters, the Stroke Impact Scale Mobility Domain (SIS-mobility), and the 3-Repetition STS test (3RSTS) were assessed before and after intervention.

Outcomes:

Each participant completed more than 750 STS repetitions over the course of the intervention, achieving independence in 8 to 11 sessions. Aside from muscle soreness, no adverse effects occurred. Participants also exhibited increased gait velocity (0.17–0.24 m/s and 0.25–0.42 m/s), SIS-mobility score (78–88 and 63–66), and decreased 3RSTS time (18-8 seconds and 40-21 seconds).

Discussion:

Speed-dependent BWS STS training appears to be a feasible and promising method to increase STS independence and speed for persons with chronic stroke. In this small case series, a potential transfer effect to gait parameters was also observed. Future randomized controlled study is warranted to evaluate efficacy and long-term effects.

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