2013 Volume 25 Issue 11 Pages 1503-1508
[Purpose] The aim of the present study was to analyze the effect of an ankle-foot orthosis on gait variables (velocity and cadence) of stroke patients. To do this, a systematic review was conducted of four databases. [Subjects and Methods] The papers identified were evaluated based on the following inclusion criteria: 1) design: controlled, clinical trial; 2) population: stroke patients; 3) intervention: analysis of spatiotemporal variables of gait with an ankle-foot orthosis; 4) control group with different intervention or no intervention; and 5) outcome: improvement in gait velocity or cadence. [Results] Thirteen controlled trials addressing the effect of an ankle-foot orthosis on gait variables of stroke patients were found. They exhibited methodological quality of 3 or more points on the PEDro scale. [Conclusion] While the findings suggest the benefits of an AFO regarding gait velocity, the impact of this type of orthosis on cadence remains inconclusive. Thus, there is a need for further well-designed randomized, controlled, clinical trials to establish better scientific evidence for the effects of AFO usage on gait variables of stroke patients.