[Abstract] Evaluation of measurements of propulsion used to reflect changes in walking speed in individuals poststroke – Journal of Biomechanics

Abstract

Recent rehabilitation approaches for individuals poststroke have focused on improving walking speed because it is a reliable measurement that is associated with quality of life. Previous studies have demonstrated that propulsion, the force used to propel the body forward, determines walking speed. However, there are several different ways of measuring propulsion and no studies have identified which measurement best reflects differences in walking speed. The primary purposes of this study were to determine for individuals poststroke, which measurement of propulsion (1) is most closely related to their self-selected walking speeds and (2) best reflects changes in walking speed within a session. Participants (N=43) with chronic poststroke hemiparesis walked at their self-selected and maximal walking speeds on a treadmill. Propulsive impulse, peak propulsive force, and mean propulsive value (propulsive impulse divided by duration) were analyzed. In addition, each participant׳s cadence was calculated. Pearson correlation coefficients were used to determine the relationships between different measurements of propulsion versus walking speed as well as changes in propulsion versus changes in walking speed. Stepwise linear regression was used to determine which measurement of propulsion best predicted walking speed and changes in walking speed. The results showed that all 3 measurements of propulsion were correlated to walking speed, with peak propulsive force showed the strongest correlation. Similarly, when participants increased their walking speeds, changes in peak propulsive forces showed the strongest correlation to changes in walking speed. In addition, multiplying each measurement by cadence improved the correlations. The present study suggests that measuring peak propulsive force and cadence may be most appropriate of the variables studied to characterize propulsion in individuals poststroke.

Source: Evaluation of measurements of propulsion used to reflect changes in walking speed in individuals poststroke – Journal of Biomechanics

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