Clinical Rehabilitation published a review of the research on gait trainer use in home and school settings for children with motor impairments. Seventeen studies involving 182 children met the inclusion criteria.
The results indicated the following:
1. one small randomized controlled trial suggested a non-significant trend toward increased walking distance
2. a evidence level II study (concurrent multiple baseline design) reported an increased number of steps.
3. two level III studies (non-randomized two-group studies) reported statistically significant impact on mobility level
4. one level III student found a significant impact on bowel function and an association between increased intervention time and bone mineral density.
5. some additional descriptive level evidence provided support for positive impact on a range of activity outcomes, with some studies reporting impact on affect, motivation and participation with others.
The researchers concluded that the evidence regarding children using gait trainers is mostly descriptive and positive although it is insufficient to draw firm conclusions.
Reference: Ginny Paleg and Roslyn Livingstone. Outcomes of gait trainer use in home and school settings for children with motor impairments: A systematic review
Clin Rehabil 0269215514565947, first published on January 30, 2015 doi:10.1177/0269215514565947
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