2010 Volume 22 Issue 2 Pages 177-187
[Purpose] We tested the efficacy of an intervention training acute stroke patients to walk backwards on a treadmill. Subjects were randomly allocated to three groups of Partial Body Weight Support treadmill backward walking group, Partial Body Weight Support treadmill forward walking group and Control in order to compare the efficacy of the interventions among the groups. [Subjects] The subjects were 36 acute stroke patients. [Methods] They were randomly allocated to the three groups using an envelope method. After 3 weeks of intervention. We investigated by multiple comparisons among the three groups using change scores for each of the outcome measures. [Results] The Berg Balance Scale showed no significant differences. The Rivermead Mobility Index showed a significant difference between the backward walking group and the forward walking group, and between the backward walking group and the Control. Walking speed was significantly different between the backward walking group and the Control. No differences were seen for other itemes. [Conclusions] As a result of 3-week intervention, a significant improvement was observed in walking speed and the Rivermead Mobility Index, suggesting that Partial Body Weight Support treadmill backward walking training for patients in the early phase of acute stroke is effective at improving mobility.