An exploration of the effects of weighted garments on balance and gait of stroke patients with residual disability

V. M. Pomeroy, B. Evans, M. Falconer, D. Jones, E. Hill, G. Giakas

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Objective: To explore the effects of weighted garments on the balance and gait of stroke patients.
Design: A pilot randomized controlled study with blinded measurement.
Setting: Weighted garments were worn by patients living in the community and measurement was made in a hospital-based gait laboratory.
Subjects: Twenty-four adults who were at least six months post stroke and were able to walk 10 metres with or without assistance or a walking aid.
Intervention: The six-week treatment-phase subjects were given a set of weighted garments which they were shown how to apply and instructed to wear on their paretic side. Subjects randomly allocated to the six-week control phase were not given any weighted garments.
Main outcome measures: Balance was measured with the Berg Balance Scale. Gait was measured using GaitMat II, an instrumented walkway. Gait parameters of interest were velocity and symmetry of: step length; single support time; double support time; and support base width. Measures were made at baseline before randomization (baseline) and at the end of the six weeks of intervention (outcome).
Results: No statistically significant differences were found between the treatment and control groups at outcome for balance (Mann–Whitney U-test; p = 0.74), gait velocity (p = 0.68) or symmetry of gait parameters (p = 0.33 to p = 0.75).
Conclusions: We found no evidence to support the clinical use of these weighted garments for stroke survivors.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)390-397
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Rehabilitation
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2001

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