Short-Term Effects of Real-Time Auditory Display (Sonification) on Gait Parameters in People with Parkinsons’ Disease—A Pilot Study
Parkinson’s disease PD patients frequently experience gait impairments. Auditory input has been shown to be an effective measure to benefit critical gait aspects related to the timing and initiation of movement. An instrumented shoe insole device for real-time sonification of gait has been developed for rehabilitation purposes (SONIGait). The objective of the present pilot study was to gain insight about possible effects of SONIGait on gait parameters in PD patients. Five PD patients participated in this pilot study and completed three series of trials with and without sonification. Spatio-temporal gait parameters were recorded during these trials. The outcomes revealed an increase in walking velocity and cadence along with other gait parameters between pre- and posttest. These data indicate that sonification affects gait parameters and fosters (short-term) learning effects in PD patients. Thus, SONIGait may be a suitable measure to promote gait rehabilitation in PD in the future.
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