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Published online: 2024-01-09

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Effect of robot-assisted gait training on functional capabilities in individuals with cerebral palsy: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Anna Krzyżańska1, Magdalena Dziurda1, Mateusz Maćkowiak1, Michał Michalak2, Marek Jóźwiak1

Abstract

The present study evaluates the effectiveness of robot-assisted gait training (RAGT). Lower limb function treatment in patients with cerebral palsy (CP) includes functional testing: UP&GO, 6-Minute Walking Test (6MWT), and the Gross Motor Function Measure (GMFM).

PubMed, Web of Science, Cochrane Library, Embase, Scopus, and EBSCO databases were searched to collect RAGT studies on lower limb dysfunction in CP patients. The GMFM, GMFM D, and GMFM E scales assessed motor function, and the UP & GO test assessed balance function and walking speed. 6MWT assessed endurance and walking speed. Due to the occurrence of only one publication with the UP&GO test, it was impossible to analyze this element.

The review included a total of 17 studies. The meta-analysis showed that RAGT significantly improved GMFM, GMFM D and E and 6MWT scores in patients with CP. Results are a compilation of all publications combined, as well as by group for randomized and non-randomized trials, and for RAGT alone or combined with conventional physiotherapy. The results regarding the assessment of functional status using the GMFM scale present the lowest heterogeneity.

RAGT positively affects gait and balance functions in CP patients. Future high-quality, long-term follow-up studies are needed to investigate the clinical efficacy of RAGT thoroughly.

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