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Functional Neurology

Effects on balance skills and patient compliance of biofeedback training with inertial measurement units and exergaming in subacute stroke: a pilot randomized controlled trial

Original Article, 131 - 136
doi: 10.11138/FNeur/2018.33.3.131
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Abstract
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Stroke patients have reduced balance and postural control that limits their activities of daily living and participation in social life. Recently, many exergaming systems based on video-biofeedback have been developed for balance training in neurological conditions, however their efficacy remains to be proven. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects on balance skills and patient compliance of biofeedback training based on inertial measurement units and exergaming in subacute stroke.
The enrolled subjects were randomized into two groups: subjects allocated to the experimental group performed 10 sessions of biofeedback balance training using inertial sensors, whereas subjects allocated to the control group performed 10 sessions of conventional balance training. All subjects were assessed at T0 (pre-treatment), T1 (posttreatment) and T2 (1-month follow-up). The Berg Balance Scale, Rivermead Mobility Index and modified Barthel Index were used to assess balance, mobility and global disability, respectively. To assess the severity of the stroke and its effects on the patient we used the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale and the Canadian Neurological Scale. Finally, a static force platform evaluating stabilometric parameters was used to assess balance skills. Fifteen subjects with subacute stroke (4F; age 57.80 ± 13.7) completed the experimental protocol. The analysis showed a significant improvement in balance skills and in the overall clinical outcomes in the experimental group compared with the control group; the experimental group also showed better compliance with the training.
The biofeedback system of the device used in this study probably enhances neuroplasticity mechanisms of postural and balance skills in subacute stroke patients.

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