Gait Recovery with an Overground Powered Exoskeleton: A Randomized Controlled Trial on Subacute Stroke Subjects

Franco Molteni, Eleonora Guanziroli, Michela Goffredo, Rocco Salvatore Calabrò, Sanaz Pournajaf, Marina Gaffuri, Giulio Gasperini, Serena Filoni, Silvano Baratta, Daniele Galafate, Domenica Le Pera, Placido Bramanti, Marco Franceschini, On Behalf Of Italian Eksogait Study Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Overground Robot-Assisted Gait Training (o-RAGT) provides intensive gait rehabilitation. This study investigated the efficacy of o-RAGT in subacute stroke subjects, compared to conventional gait training.

METHODS: A multicenter randomized controlled trial was conducted on 75 subacute stroke subjects (38 in the Experimental Group (EG) and 37 in the Control Group (CG)). Both groups received 15 sessions of gait training (5 sessions/week for 60 min) and daily conventional rehabilitation. The subjects were assessed at the beginning (T1) and end (T2) of the training period with the primary outcome of a 6 Minutes Walking Test (6MWT), the Modified Ashworth Scale of the Affected lower Limb (MAS-AL), the Motricity Index of the Affected lower Limb (MI-AL), the Trunk Control Test (TCT), Functional Ambulation Classification (FAC), a 10 Meters Walking Test (10MWT), the modified Barthel Index (mBI), and the Walking Handicap Scale (WHS).

RESULTS: The 6MWT increased in both groups, which was confirmed by both frequentist and Bayesian analyses. Similar outcomes were registered in the MI-AL, 10MWT, mBI, and MAS-AL. The FAC and WHS showed a significant number of subjects improving in functional and community ambulation in both groups at T2.

CONCLUSIONS: The clinical effects of o-RAGT were similar to conventional gait training in subacute stroke subjects. The results obtained in this study are encouraging and suggest future clinical trials on the topic.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
JournalBrain Sciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 14 2021


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