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The purpose of this study is to compare conventional balance training to reactive training and to a novel, high intensity, harnessed training program. This study examines the impact of these interventions on fall risk and on a range of important aspects of balance including overall mobility, quality of life, and health. Participants will be 60-69 adults who had a stroke more than 6 months ago and who ambulate independently. Each participant will complete 14 sessions consisting of 4 (2 pre-, 2 post-) testing sessions and 10 intervention sessions. The pre and post testing will be the same and will consist of clinical and survey based balance and quality of life assessments and treadmill based perturbed gait testing.
The pretest will be sessions 1 and 2 will be followed by 10 intervention sessions. There will be 3 treatment groups: a conventional balance training group (PT), a reactive slip training group (Slip), and a multidirectional harness group (MHG). Participants will be randomly assigned to a group following screening and consent.
The conventional balance training group (PT) will receive 10 sessions of individualized standard of care physical therapy with the goal of improving balance and mobility. The only instructions to the PT are that the focus of the course of care should be on "balance and mobility" and that there should be 10 sessions.
The reactive slip training group (Slip) will complete a standing slip session using the current protocol of scaling slip distance and force to each individual and modulating the slip intensity across the session based on subject responses. The remaining nine intervention sessions will consist of accompanied walking for up to 45 minutes. Participants will walk at a comfortable pace while accompanied by a researcher.
The multidirectional harness group (MHG) will use a harness that allows movement in all directions, playing selected Kinect™ active video games with varied balance demands, on multiple balance training surfaces (e.g., rocker board, foam, slider platform). Participants will wear the fall-arresting harness for all game play. Motion data will be collected during Sessions 2, 6, and 10.
For all groups, two-post-test sessions will follow the intervention sessions and will be the same as the two-pretest session. The final session will also include reviewing the participants' falls diaries and setting up procedures for contacting participants weekly or biweekly about falls.
This study compares conventional balance training to a reactive slip protocol and novel, high intensity, harnessed balance training using video gaming. It examines the impact of these three interventions on fall risk and on aspects of balance including overall mobility, quality of life and community participation. The study includes 60-69 adults who had a stroke more than 6 months ago and who walk independently. Participants will complete 14 sessions: 4 sessions (2 pre-, 2 post-) of testing and 10 intervention sessions. There will be one to two sessions per week depending on scheduling and participant preference.
The first session will begin with screening and the consent process after which participants will be randomly assigned to one of the following three groups of 20-22 participants each: conventional balance training (PT), reactive slip training (Slip), and multi-directional harnessed gaming training (MHG). The first individual entering the study will be randomly assigned to one of the three groups, the next person will be randomly assigned to one of the two remaining groups, and the third person will be placed in the remaining group. This process will be repeated with the next group of three individuals entering the study, and so on. Approximately midway through the study, researchers will assess group mix for impairment severity levels and adjust if necessary. All 14 sessions are outlined below including descriptions of testing and intervention procedures.
During session one, the screening, consent and randomization process will be followed by the clinical testing, falls history and falls diary initiation, then scheduling of subsequent visits. Participants will be questioned as to any falls within the last 12 months, and if any - how long ago for each fall and the circumstances of and any injuries from the fall as they recall them. The falls diary will be explained to the participants and participants will be asked to keep it during the weeks of the 14 sessions and for 6 months afterwards. The stability (RPS) scale will be explained to the participants and remaining clinical testing will be administered including the Mini-Balance Evaluation Systems Test (miniBEST). The limits of stability testing (LOS), including the reactive perturbation testing portion of the miniBEST will be performed with motion capture. If time, participant scheduling, and participant tolerance for activity permit, the LOS testing will be done at the second pre-test session because this will allow motion marker placement for one session rather than two, saving the participant time. If timing or participant activity tolerance do not allow, the LOS testing will be performed, with motion capture, at the first pre-test session.
The second session will continue the pre-test portion of the protocol with treadmill perturbation testing and LOS testing. All participants will be supported in a fall-arresting harness for all treadmill perturbation testing. First, the treadmill will be used to measure the participant's normal then fast walking speeds. For perturbations, the treadmill will be run at the participant's determined normal walking speed. It will randomly accelerate at mid-stance of the hemiparetic foot, then return to its usual speed. The participant will be asked to try to maintain his/her balance and continue walking as before, but that if the participant needs to stop, the investigator will halt the treadmill and provide a rest break. After each perturbation, the participant will be asked to score it on the RPS scale. Throughout all of the treadmill perturbation testing force, motion, and load cell data will be recorded and vital signs will be monitored consistent with Physical Therapy and exercise standards.
There will be up to 18 perturbations. The initial perturbation intensity will be based on the participant's miniBEST scores and normalized to that individual's maximum gait speed. Each subsequent perturbation intensity will be determined based on the participant's response to the previous perturbations: three consecutive falls (>30% of participant's body weight as measured by load cell) leads to a decrease in perturbation intensity; three consecutive recoveries (<5%of participant's body weight as measured by load cell) leads to an increase in perturbation intensity; and if the three previous perturbations were mixed (some combination of falls, recoveries, and harness assists) the perturbation will be unchanged. The outcome of each trial (fall, recovery, or harness assist) will be recorded.
After pretesting, 10 intervention sessions will begin based on group assignment, as described above. The conventional balance training group (PT) will receive individualized standard of care physical therapy with the goal of improving balance and mobility during sessions 3 through 12. This will be completed by an experienced community physical therapist who will be blinded to the other groups' activities and to all pre-testing results. The first visit will have approximately 60 minutes allotted for the initial evaluation and limited treatment while the remaining 9 sessions will consist of 45 minutes of PT treatment. The only instructions to the PT are that the focus of the course of care should be on "balance and mobility" and that there should be 10 sessions total. The investigators will be blinded to the specifics of the individual treatments provided by the PT(s).
The reactive slip training group (Slip) will complete one standing slip session using the current protocol of scaling slip distance and force to each individual and modulating the slip intensity across the session based on participant responses. To match intervention time to the other two groups, the remaining 9 sessions will involve 45 minutes of supervised walking with vital sign and distance monitoring, and rest as necessary.
All participants will use a full-body, fall-arresting harness throughout all slip testing. All participants will be informed that during the experimental procedures the Slip Trainer platform, on which they are standing, may move suddenly and unexpectedly under their feet. The participants will be asked to react as naturally as possible to the perturbation. The participants will also be informed that if they are unable to catch themselves, the full-body safety harness they will be wearing will prevent a fall from occurring. Participants will be reminded that they may request a rest break at any time. Participants will be guarded by an investigator (both licensed Physical Therapists) or by a Student PT supervised by an investigator.
The Slip Trainer is a low platform on rollers which allow only anterior-posterior (forward-backward) slips, not side to side. Participants will stand quietly on the trainer and slips will be induced by the (randomly timed and unannounced) release of weights from a designated height, causing the weights to fall and the platform to be pulled backward or forward approximately 15 - 30 centimeters. The amount of weight released will range from 15-40% of the participant's body weight. Up to 17 slips will be induced. The participants will self-rate their stability during the slip with the RPS immediately after each slip recovery. Motion, load cell and outcomes data will be collected throughout slip testing. Initial perturbation intensity (percent body weight and slip distance) will be based on the participant's miniBEST score and each subsequent perturbation intensity will be determined based on the participant's response to the previous perturbations. If this algorithm leads to the perturbations being reduced below 5% and 5 cm or above 40% and 30 cm, the trials will be stopped.
The remaining nine intervention sessions will consist of accompanied walking for up to 45 minutes. Participants will come to Cleveland State University and will walk at a comfortable pace while accompanied by a researcher in the areas in or adjacent to the Health Sciences spaces. Researchers will monitor the participants' vital signs as indicated and in the manner consistent with standard PT/exercise practice. Participants may request rest breaks as needed. The researcher will record the distances walked, the rests taken, and the vital signs as taken.
The multidirectional harness group (MHG) will use a harness with the Open Area Support System (OASUS) multidirectional harness framework and play selected Kinect™ active video games with varied balance demands, while standing on multiple balance training surfaces (e.g., solid floor, rocker board, foam, slider platform). Participants will wear the fall-arresting harness in the OASUS system for all game play. This harness allows participants to move freely in any direction except it limits their vertical descent to a pre-set height. This will be adjusted to a height that allows the participants to touch the floor or support surface with only their feet when fully suspended in the harness in any direction; no other body part will be able to reach the ground. This will be re-adjusted each time the participant changes the playing surface.
Initial game and training surface combinations as well as subsequent difficulty levels and training conditions will be chosen using a progression algorithm in conjunction with the Rate of Perceived Stability (RPS). Motion data will be collected during gaming for Sessions 2, 6, and 10. RPS scores will be collected during and immediately after all gaming sessions. Participants are able to use rest breaks and will be monitored throughout all sessions consistent with standard physical therapy/exercise practice. At the first session of MHG, participants will be introduced to each game and given time to practice playing that game until they feel comfortable with each game. All participants will progress with the prescribed sequence of games and surfaces, progressing based on their rating of the previous three bouts of play.
Two post-test sessions will follow the 10 intervention sessions. These will be equivalent to the two-pretest session above with the treadmill testing at session 13, LOS testing at either session 13 or 14, and the remaining clinical testing and follow up at session 14. All participants will be reminded of previous protocols/instructions completed in their pretest sessions. The 14th and final session will also include reviewing the participants' falls diaries and setting up procedures for contacting participants weekly or biweekly about falls. The participant will have a chance to ask any questions about the overall study and the payment forms will be signed.
Conventional Physical Therapy, Slip Training, Harnessed gaming
Cleveland State University
Cleveland State University
Published on BioPortfolio: 2018-12-03T23:35:11-0500
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