A pilot study using tactile cueing for gait rehabilitation following stroke

Holland, Simon; Wright, Rachel L.; Wing, Alan; Crevoisier, Thomas; Hödl, Oliver and Canelli, Maxime (2015). A pilot study using tactile cueing for gait rehabilitation following stroke. In: Fardoun, Habib M.; Penichet, Victor M. R. and Alghazzawi, Daniyal M. eds. ICTs for Improving Patients Rehabilitation Research Techniques. Communications in Computer and Information Science (CCIS) (515). Berlin: Springer Verlag, pp. 222–233.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-662-48645-0_19

Abstract

Recovery of walking function is a vital goal of post-stroke rehabilitation. Cueing using audio metronomes has been shown to improve gait, but can be impractical when interacting with others, particularly outdoors where awareness of vehicles and bicycles is essential. Audio is also unsuitable in environments with high background noise, or for those with a hearing impairment. If successful, lightweight portable tactile cueing has the potential to take the benefits of cueing out of the laboratory and into everyday life. The Haptic Bracelets are lightweight wireless devices containing a computer, accelerometers and low-latency vibrotactiles with a wide dynamic range. In this paper we review gait rehabilitation problems and existing solutions, and present an early pilot in which the Haptic Bracelets were applied to post-stroke gait rehabilitation. Tactile cueing during walking was well received in the pilot, and analysis of motion capture data showed immediate improvements in gait.

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