Clinical impact of gait training enhanced with visual kinematic biofeedback: Patients with Parkinson's disease and patients stable post stroke

Nancy Byl, Wenlong Zhang, Sophia Coo, Masayoshi Tomizuka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


As the world's population ages, falls, physical inactivity, decreased attention and impairments in balance and gait arise as a consequence of decreased sensation, weakness, trauma and degenerative disease. Progressive balance and gait training can facilitate postural righting, safe ambulation and community participation. This small randomized clinical trial evaluated if visual and kinematic feedback provided during supervised gait training would interfere or enhance mobility, endurance, balance, strength and flexibility in older individuals greater than one year post stroke (Gobbi et al., 2009) or Parkinson's disease (PD) (Gobbi et al., 2009). Twenty-four individuals consented to participate. The participants were stratified by diagnosis and randomly assigned to a control (usual gait training (Gobbi et al., 2009)) or an experimental group (usual gait training plus kinematic feedback (Gobbi et al., 2009)). At baseline and 6 weeks post training (18 h), subjects completed standardized tests (mobility, balance, strength, range of motion). Gains were described across all subjects, by treatment group and by diagnosis. Then they were compared for significance using nonparametric statistics. Twenty-three subjects completed the study with no adverse events. Across all subjects, by diagnosis (stroke and PD) and by training group (control and experimental), there were significant gains in mobility (gait speed, step length, endurance, and quality), balance (Berg Balance), range of motion and strength. There were no significant differences in the gain scores between the control and experimental groups. Subjects chronic post stroke made greater strength gains on the affected side than subjects with PD but otherwise there were no significant differences. In summary, during supervised gait training, dynamic visual kinematic feedback from wireless pressure and motion sensors had similar, positive effects as verbal, therapist feedback. A wireless kinematic feedback system could be used at home, to provide feedback and motivation for self correction of gait while simultaneously providing data to the therapist (at a distance).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)332-343
Number of pages12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Gait training
  • Kinematic biofeedback
  • PD
  • Stroke
  • Wireless

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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