Nevin Manimala Statistics

Effects of dynamic body weight support on functional independence measures in acute ischemic stroke: a retrospective cohort study

J Neuroeng Rehabil. 2023 Jan 16;20(1):6. doi: 10.1186/s12984-023-01132-9.


BACKGROUND: Stroke remains a major public health concern in the United States and a leading cause of long-term disability in adults. Dynamic body weight support (DBWS) systems are popular technology available for use in clinical settings such inpatient rehabilitation. However, there remains limited studies in such inpatient settings that compare DBWS to standard of care (SOC) using real world outcome measures. For survivors of acute ischemic stroke, we determine if incorporating a dynamic body weight support (DBWS) system into inpatient therapy offers greater improvement than standard of care (SOC).

METHODS: A retrospective chart review included 52 individuals with an acute ischemic stroke admitted to an inpatient rehabilitation facility. Functional Independence Measure (FIM) data, specifically changes in FIM at discharge, served as the primary outcome measure. Patient cohorts received either therapies per SOC or therapies incorporating DBWS. Regardless of cohort group, all patients underwent therapies for 3 h per day for 5 days a week.

RESULTS: For both groups, a statistically and clinically significant increase in total FIM (P < 0.0001) was observed at discharge compared to at admission. Improvements for the DBWS group were significantly greater than the SOC group as evidenced by higher gains in total FIM (p = 0.04) and this corresponded to a medium effect size (Cohen’s d = 0.58). Among FIM subscores, the DBWS group achieved a significant increase in sphincter control while all other subscore changes remained non-significant.

CONCLUSIONS: This preliminary evidence supports the benefit of using DBWS during inpatient rehabilitation in individuals who have experienced an acute ischemic stroke. This may be due to the greater intensity and repetitions of tasks allowed by DBWS. These preliminary findings warrant further investigations on the use of DBWS in inpatient settings.

PMID:36647043 | DOI:10.1186/s12984-023-01132-9

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