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The effectiveness of bodyweight-supported treadmill training in stroke patients: randomized controlled trial

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This study aimed to assess the impact of conventional rehabilitation (CR) and the combination of bodyweight-supported treadmill training (BWSTT) with CR on walking speed, endurance, balance, mobility, and the quality of life in stroke survivors.


In this prospective, randomized, controlled, and single-blind study, 30 stroke patients were included ( registration number: NCT04597658 date: October 22, 2020). These patients were divided into two groups: (1) CR only (control group, n = 14) and (2) CR with BWSTT (experimental group, n = 16). Both groups received CR for 3 consecutive weeks, 5 days a week, for 30 min each day. The experimental group received an additional 30 min of BWSTT per session. Patients were evaluated using the 10-m walk test (10MWT), the six-minute walk test (6MWT), the Tinetti Balance and Gait Assessment Score, the Timed Up and Go (TUG) test, the Rivermead Mobility Index (RMI), and the Stroke-Specific Quality of Life Scale (SS-QOL) before and after the intervention.


Both groups showed significant improvements across all scales after the intervention. The BWSTT group exhibited particularly noteworthy enhancements in comfortable 10MWT and TUG scores (p = 0.043 and p = 0.025, respectively) compared to the CR group post-intervention.


In conclusion, a holistic approach combining conventional physiotherapy with overground gait training can enhance various aspects of mobility. This approach offers a cost-effective and equipment-free alternative to BWSTT and necessitates specialized treadmill and bodyweight support systems, incurring higher costs. However, using BWSTT as a co-therapy therapy can be costly but provides additional benefits for enhancing functional mobility.

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Data Availability

The data that support the findings of this study are not openly available due to reasons of sensitivity and areavailable from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.


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Correspondence to Elif Tarihci Cakmak.

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The University Clinical Research Ethics Committee approval was received for the study (Protocol number: 2018/735).

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Tarihci Cakmak, E., Yaliman, A., Torna, G. et al. The effectiveness of bodyweight-supported treadmill training in stroke patients: randomized controlled trial. Neurol Sci (2024).

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