Effects of Visual Feedback on Walking Speed for Stroke Patients: Single-case Design

Efecto de la retroalimentación visual sobre la velocidad de la marcha después de un accidente cerebrovascular: diseño de caso único


Introduction. Gait recovery is one of the main goals in post-stroke rehabilitation. Based on the principles of motor learning, new strategies have been developed in neurorehabilitation based on repetitive, task-oriented practice, and feedback. The latter has proven to be one of the most critical variables for training, because it is easy to obtain and manipulate. However, there are still no conclusive studies to identify the real effect of this variable and its influence on recovery and functional gait performance.

Objective. To determine the effect of visual feedback on gait speed after stroke in adults with subacute and chronic stages.

Methodology. Single-case, multiple baseline, non-concurrent randomized, and four-participant design. Gait velocity was assessed by determining differences in level, trend, data stability, and nonoverlapping data using visual analysis based on technical documentation for single-case designs from the What Works Clearinghouse.

Results. Four participants ranging in age from 19 to 73 years were included in the study. The change in level for all participants demonstrated an increase in gait velocity values after the introduction of the intervention (mean: 0.76 m/s). Visual trend analysis estimated acceleration for the intervention line for three participants. The data in the baseline and intervention phase met the stability criterion measured with the two standard deviation band method (mean: 0.05 m/s); patterns of change demonstrated immediate effect with gradual improvement during the intervention for participants 1, 3, and 4. The percentage of nonoverlapping data showed effectiveness of the intervention for three of the participants (PND >91.67%).

Conclusions. The findings presented in this study represent a scientific contribution that supports the relevance of the use and application of motor learning principles for the development of new strategies in motor rehabilitation. However, this study constitutes a first step towards more robust studies that include replication of the phases in the study and follow-up evaluation to determine the permanence of long-term effects.


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Karen Gizeth Castro-Medina


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