Date of Award

5-2019

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Health and Human Performance

Program

Exercise Science

First Advisor/Chairperson

Dr. Sarah Breen

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to compare if the addition of the NewGait™ device to traditional therapy in comparison to traditional therapy alone would be more effective at improving walking technique and walking performance in persons with multiple sclerosis. Eighteen patients with multiple sclerosis participated in this study. Pre- and post-testing assessed kinematic gait variables (speed, step length, step width, double limb support time), toe clearance height, ankle range of motion, balance confidence, rating of perceived exertion, and hip-ankle coordination. Participants completed an 8-week physical therapy protocol aimed to improve gait and balance with the experimental group wearing the NewGait™ device. Repeated measures mixed ANOVA revealed significant improvements over time for both groups, with increased walking speed, improved balance confidence, increase in bilateral step length, and a decrease in the percent of time spent in anti-phase and an ankle-driven coordination phase during swing for the unaffected limb (p < 0.05). The experimental group experienced larger improvements in balance confidence (p < 0.05), and coordination (p < 0.05) when compared to the control group. The results of the current study indicate that the use of the NewGait™ during rehabilitation is effective at improving balance confidence lower limb coordination.

Access Type

Open Access

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