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Randomized trial of functional electrical stimulation therapy for walking in incomplete spinal cord injury: effects on quality of life and community participation

journal contribution
posted on 2013-09-01, 00:00 authored by S L Hitzig, B C Craven, A Panjwani, N Kapadia, L M Giangregorio, Kieva Richards, K Masani, M R Popovic
Background: Functional electrical stimulation (FES) therapy has been applied to achieve functional benefits post spinal cord injury (SCI), but little is known about its effects on well-being. Objective: Using a parallel-group randomized controlled trial (RCT) design (NCT00201968), the effects of a FES-assisted walking intervention on quality of life and participation post SCI were compared to a non-FES exercise program. Methods: Individuals with chronic (≥18 months) incomplete SCI (level C2 to T12, AIS C or D) were randomized to a FES-assisted walking (intervention) or aerobic/resistance training (control) sessions 3 times a week for 16 weeks. The Spinal Cord Independence Measure (SCIM), Satisfaction With Life Scale, Lawton Instrumental Activities of Daily Living, Craig Handicap and Assessment Reporting Technique, Reintegration to Normal Living Index, and perceptions of intervention(s) outcomes were completed at baseline, 4, 6, and 12 months. Repeated measures general linear models were used to assess between-group differences. Perceptions of intervention(s) were analyzed using qualitative content analysis. Results: Thirty-four individuals were randomized (17 per group); 27 remained at 12 months. The FES group had a significant increase (P < .01) on SCIM mobility subscores (mean [SD] = 17.27 [7.2] to 21.33 [7.6]) compared to the exercise group (mean [SD] = 19.9 [17.1] to 17.36 [5.5] ). Although no significant between-group differences were detected for other outcomes, both groups reported positive gains in well-being from trial participation. Conclusions: The present study provides insight into the perceived benefits acquired by participating in an RCT comparing exercise to FES therapy and serves as a model for pinpointing domains of wellbeing that could be targeted for assessment in future SCI trials.

History

Journal

Topics in spinal cord injury rehabilitation

Volume

19

Issue

4

Pagination

245 - 258

Publisher

Thomas Land

Location

Williamsport, Pa.

ISSN

1082-0744

eISSN

1945-5763

Language

eng

Publication classification

C Journal article; C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2013, Thomas Land Publishers

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