The Effect of Functional Electrically Stimulated Ambulation Training on Locomotor Function and Quality of Life in Individuals With Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury
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The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of a 12-week FES-ambulation program on locomotor function and quality of life after incomplete spinal cord injury. Six individuals with incomplete SCI participated in the study. Over-ground walking endurance (6MWT), speed (10MWT), independence (WISCI II) and body-weight support were assessed. Quality of life was assessed via the SF-36, WHOQOL-BREF, Perceived Stress Scale, Center of Epidemiological Studies for Depression scale, and task self-efficacy. Participants experienced significant improvements in walking endurance (223.6±141.5m to 297.3±164.5m; p=0.03), body-weight support (55.3±12.6% to 14.7±23.2%; p= 0.005) and four of the six participants showed improvements on the WISCI II scale (1-4 points). In addition, there was a significant reduction in reported bodily pain (6.5±1.2 to 5.0±1.7; p=0.04). Therefore, FES-ambulation is an effective means for enhancing over-ground locomotor function in individuals with incomplete SCI. It may also be an effective method for reducing pain in individuals with SCI.