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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 73-84

Effects of body-weight-supported treadmill training in persons with spinal cord injury – A scoping review


1 Department of Neurobiology, Division of Physical Therapy, Care Sciences and Society, Karolinska Institutet, Huddinge; Medical Unit Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy, Allied Health Professionals, Karolinska University Hospital, 171 77 Stockholm, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden
2 Department of Neurobiology, Division of Physical Therapy, Care Sciences and Society, Karolinska Institutet, Huddinge, Sweden; Department of Neurophysiotherapy, Pravara Institute of Medical Sciences, Loni, Maharashtra, India
3 Department of Neurobiology, Division of Physical Therapy, Care Sciences and Society, Karolinska Institutet, Huddinge, Sweden; Department of Health Sciences and Rehabilitation, Division of Physiotherapy, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa

Correspondence Address:
Wilhelmus Johannes Andreas Grooten
Karolinska Institutet, Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society, Division of Physical Therapy, 23100, SE-141 83 Huddinge
Sweden
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijptr.ijptr_22_20

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Body-weight supported treadmill training (BWSTT) is used in rehabilitation of persons with complete and incomplete spinal cord injury (SCI), but the effectiveness of this intensive training method is still disputed. The present scoping review aimed to determine the effects of body-weight supported treadmill training in persons with spinal cord injury. The databases PUBMED and CINAHL were searched for clinical trials, and from the initial 350 papers retrieved, 14 papers fulfilled the inclusion criteria. Quality of the studies was assessed using the PEDRO score, and the outcomes of interest were cardiovascular function, psychological and emotional factors, gait, balance, muscle strength and additionally, pulmonary function, health-related quality of life (HR-QoL), as well as adverse events. In total, 374 patients with complete and incomplete SCI included in the 14 studies (PEDRO 4-8) had used the intervention. The training dose was varying largely across the different studies, but on average most studies applied around 50% of the participants' body-weight with 3-5 sessions a week, lasted for 40± 20 minutes and continued for 4.3±3.6 months. There were positive effects of BWSTT on cardiovascular function, gait, balance, psychological and emotional factors, and muscle strength. This study conclude that BWSTT appears to be a safe and useful treatment in persons with spinal cord injury; however more randomized controlled trials are needed to assure these effects and to establish the evidence of BWSTT on complementary outcomes, as well as finding evidence for the most suitable dose.


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