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Home-based therapy shown to work as well as high-tech alternative in post-stroke care

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Home-based therapy seems to work as well as treadmill therapy in a physical therapy setting for recovering stroke patients, according to a new study from Duke University.

The study -- part of the Locomotor Experience Applied Post-Stroke (LEAPS) study -- marks the first major, phase III trial to evaluate different interventions in stroke therapy, according to Pamela Woods Duncan, principal researcher. The trial included 408 stroke survivors from six inpatient, rehab facilities throughout Florida and California. Each group was assigned to either home exercise for 1.5 hours, three times weekly (which included structured, progressive strength and balance exercises completed in the patient’s home with the help of a physical therapist) or locomotor training (progressive treadmill training followed by traditional walking exercises with two or three physical therapists each).

The results indicate expensive, high-tech therapy does not benefit patients any more than home strength and balance training.

Stroke is the leading cause of long-term disability and the third leading cause of death in the United States.

The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health.

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Review Date: 
February 14, 2011
Last Updated:
February 15, 2011