A critical appraisal of "Who may benefit from robotic- assisted gait training? A randomized clinical trial in patients with subacute stroke"




McDaniel, Elizabeth

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Robotic rehabilitation is an understudied option for treatment due to such high costs and unknown results for hemiplegic stroke patients. This critical appraisal aims to analyze an article that experimented with the outcomes of using robotic therapy alongside traditional therapy for hemiplegic stroke patients. The goal is to understand the purpose of the study and the strength and weaknesses of the authors introduction, methods, results and discussion. The overall findings of the research article show that there is a significant improvement in ambulation and balance control for severe hemiplegic stroke patients, while the findings for less severe hemiplegic patients are not significant. The study uses multiple outcome measures, like motricity index, taken by a physician before and after the therapy implementation, who also was blinded to the subject's treatment. This study also supports its hypothesis of robotic therapy and discussion through the use of multiple recent publications. The quality of the experiment is good and the execution of the experiment is good, the only limitation is the lack of detail for the traditional physiotherapy applied to all of the patients so exact replication could prove difficult. Overall, the data collected is valid and with further research could prove to be a turning point in stroke rehabilitation and the quality of life for patient's post-stroke.