Rhythmic Haptic Cueing for Entrainment: Assisting post-stroke gait rehabilitation

Georgiou, Theodoros; Holland, Simon and van der Linden, Janet (2016). Rhythmic Haptic Cueing for Entrainment: Assisting post-stroke gait rehabilitation. In: Designing Around People: CWUAAT 2016 (Langdon, Pat; Lazar, Jonathan; Heylighen, Ann and Dong, Hua eds.), Springer, pp. 55–64.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-29498-8_6


Restoring mobility and rehabilitation of gait are high priorities for rehabilitation of neurological conditions. Cueing using metronomic rhythmic sensory stimulation via entrainment has been shown to improve gait, but almost all previous versions of this approach have used auditory or visual cues. In contrast, we have developed and pilot-tested a prototype wearable system for rhythmic cueing based on haptics. Our initial pilot study indicated the same kinds of improvement to gait with haptics as for other cueing modalities, but haptics offer some advantages over audio and visual cues. In particular, haptics are generally more practical for use out of doors, in noisy environments, or when wishing to keep open the ability to converse freely. However, haptics also allow the precisely targeted spatial placement of cues on alternate limbs, offering the ability to manipulate attention and proprioception for therapeutic benefit. We outline the theory behind our approach and report on the iterative design of the system as part of a user-centred design evaluation process involving a wide range of stakeholders.

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