Effects of Slope Changes During Body Weight-Supported Treadmill Training on Gait Characteristics in Patients With Hemiplegia

  • Hwang, Young-In (Division of Physical Therapy, Sea-Ho Hospital) ;
  • An, Duk-Hyun (Dept. of Physical Therapy, College of Biomedical Science and Engineering, Inje University)
  • Received : 2008.10.10
  • Accepted : 2008.11.05
  • Published : 2008.11.19


The purpose of this study was to determine the therapeutic effect of slope changes of the treadmill with body weight-supported training on gait characteristics in patients with hemiplegia. The volunteered subjects were divided into 3 groups based upon slope changes: control group ($0^{\circ}$ incline), $7^{\circ}$ group ($7^{\circ}$ incline), $12^{\circ}$ group ($12^{\circ}$ incline), They were trained the body weight-supported treadmill training (BWSTT) for 8 weeks. All subjects were supported up to 40% of their body weight on the treadmill training and the support was gradually decreased to 0~10% as the subjects were adapted to the training. There were significant improvements of walking velocity, step length of the affected side, the asymmetry ratio of step length in $7^{\circ}$ group (57.80 cm/s, 67.25 cm, .14), $12^{\circ}$ group (71.00 cm/s, 71.00 cm, .11) than control group (40.62 cm/s, 55.00 cm, .74) (p<.05): there were no differences between $7^{\circ}$ group and $12^{\circ}$ group in the all outcomes (p>.05). Both $7^{\circ}$ group and $12^{\circ}$ group scored higher than the control group in those outcomes and finally the effects of slopes changes of the treadmill were effective on gait characteristics of patients. But it s till remains undetermined what degree on the treadmill might be better to train the hemipareric patients. Therefore, more studies are required to look into minutely the changes of slopes of the treadmill influencing on gait characteristics.