Training for walking through an opening improves collision avoidance behavior in subacute patients with stroke: a randomized controlled trial

- By Muroi, Daisuke ; Saito, Yutaro ; Koyake, Aki ; Hiroi, Yasuhiro ; Higuchi, Takahiro


PurposeParetic side collisions frequently occur in stroke patients, especially while walking through narrow spaces. We determined whether training for walking through an opening (T-WTO) while entering from the paretic side would improve collision avoidance behavior and prevent falls after 6 months.Materials and MethodsThirty-eight adults with moderate-to-mild hemiparetic gait after stroke who were hospitalized in a rehabilitation setting were randomly allocated to the T-WTO (n = 20) or regular rehabilitation (R-Control; n = 18) program. Both groups received five sessions of 40 min per week, for three weeks total. T-WTO included walking through openings of various widths while rotating with the paretic side in front, and R-Control involved normal walking without body rotation. Obstacle avoidance ability, 10-m walking test, timed Up and Go test, Berg Balance Scale, Activities-specific Balance Confidence, the perceptual judgment of passability, and fall incidence were assessed.ResultsCollision rate and time to passage of the opening in obstacle avoidance task significantly improved in the T-WTO group compared with those in the R-Control group. Contrast, T-WTO did not lead to significant improvements in other outcomes.ConclusionsT-WTO improved efficiency and safety in managing subacute stroke patients. Such training could improve patient outcomes/safety because of the paretic body side during walking.