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The effects of robot assisted gait training on temporal-spatial characteristics of people with spinal cord injuries: a systematic review

Hayes, Stephen Clive; James Wilcox, Christopher Richard; Forbes White, Hollie Samantha; Vanicek, Natalie


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Dr Steve Hayes
Lecturer in Biomechanics & Strength and Conditioning

Christopher Richard James Wilcox

Hollie Samantha Forbes White


Context: Robotic assisted gait training (RAGT) technology can be used as a rehabilitation tool or as an assistive device for spinal cord injured (SCI) individuals. Its impact on upright stepping characteristics of SCI individuals using treadmill or overground robotic exoskeleton systems has yet to be established.

Objective: To systematically review the literature and identify if overground or treadmill based RAGT use in SCI individuals elicited differences in temporal-spatial characteristics and functional outcome measures.

Methods:A systematic search of the literature investigating overground and treadmill RAGT in SCIs was undertaken excluding case-studies and case-series. Studies were included if the primary outcomes were temporal-spatial gait parameters. Study inclusion and methodological quality were assessed and determined independently by two reviewers. Methodological quality was assessed using a validated scoring system for randomized and non-randomized trials.

Results: Twelve studies met all inclusion criteria. Participant numbers ranged from 5-130 with injury levels from C2 to T12, American Spinal Injuries Association A-D. Three studies used overground RAGT systems and the remaining nine focused on treadmill based RAGT systems. Primary outcome measures were walking speed and walking distance. The use of treadmill or overground based RAGT did not result in an increase in walking speed beyond that of conventional gait training and no studies reviewed enabled a large enough improvement to facilitate community ambulation.

Conclusion: The use of RAGT in SCI individuals has the potential to benefit upright locomotion of SCI individuals. Its use should not replace other therapies but be incorporated into a multi-modality rehabilitation approach.


Hayes, S. C., James Wilcox, C. R., Forbes White, H. S., & Vanicek, N. (2018). The effects of robot assisted gait training on temporal-spatial characteristics of people with spinal cord injuries: a systematic review. The journal of spinal cord medicine : JSCM, 41(5), 529-543.

Journal Article Type Review
Acceptance Date Jan 11, 2018
Online Publication Date Feb 5, 2018
Publication Date Sep 3, 2018
Deposit Date Feb 22, 2018
Publicly Available Date Feb 6, 2019
Journal The Journal of Spinal Cord Medicine
Print ISSN 1079-0268
Electronic ISSN 2045-7723
Publisher Maney Publishing
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 41
Issue 5
Pages 529-543
Keywords Spinal cord injury; Robot assisted gait training; Overground gait; Treadmill gait; Temporal-spatial characteristics
Public URL
Additional Information Peer Review Statement: The publishing and review policy for this title is described in its Aims & Scope.; Aim & Scope:


Article (379 Kb)

Copyright Statement
©2018 University of Hull

This is the accepted version of an article published in Journal of spinal cord work.

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