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Overground Robot-Assisted Gait Training for Pediatric Cerebral Palsy

 Seung Ki Kim  ;  Dongho Park  ;  Beomki Yoo  ;  Dain Shim  ;  Joong-On Choi  ;  Tae Young Choi  ;  Eun Sook Park 
 SENSORS, Vol.21(6) : 2087, 2021-03 
Journal Title
Issue Date
cerebral palsy ; exoskeleton ; gait ; pediatric ; robotic training
The untethered exoskeletal robot provides patients with the freest and realistic walking experience by assisting them based on their intended movement. However, few previous studies have reported the effect of robot-assisted gait training (RAGT) using wearable exoskeleton in children with cerebral palsy (CP). This pilot study evaluated the effect of overground RAGT using an untethered torque-assisted exoskeletal wearable robot for children with CP. Three children with bilateral spastic CP were recruited. The robot generates assistive torques according to gait phases automatically detected by force sensors: flexion torque during the swing phase and extension torque during the stance phase at hip and knee joints. The overground RAGT was conducted for 17~20 sessions (60 min per session) in each child. The evaluation was performed without wearing a robot before and after the training to measure (1) the motor functions using the gross motor function measure and the pediatric balance scale and (2) the gait performance using instrumented gait analysis, the 6-min walk test, and oxygen consumption measurement. All three participants showed improvement in gross motor function measure after training. Spatiotemporal parameters of gait analysis improved in participant P1 (9-year-old girl, GMFCS II) and participant P2 (13-year-old boy, GMFCS III). In addition, they walked faster and farther with lower oxygen consumption during the 6-min walk test after the training. Although participant P3 (16-year-old girl, GMFCS IV) needed the continuous help of a therapist for stepping at baseline, she was able to walk with the platform walker independently after the training. Overground RAGT using a torque-assisted exoskeletal wearable robot seems to be promising for improving gross motor function, walking speed, gait endurance, and gait efficiency in children with CP. In addition, it was safe and feasible even for children with severe motor impairment (GMFCS IV).
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1. College of Medicine (의과대학) > Dept. of Rehabilitation Medicine (재활의학교실) > 1. Journal Papers
Yonsei Authors
Kim, Seung Ki(김승기) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8823-6258
Park, Eun Sook(박은숙) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9144-3063
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