The Effect of an Overhead Gait and Balance Training Device on Transfer and Balance Activities

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Abstract

The purpose of the study was to examine the effect of an overhead safe patient handling and mobility (SPHM) device on activities related to sit-to-stand (STS) transfer and dynamic balance. The study used a case series design. Three healthy young adults completed 3 standardized tasks designed to capture transfer and dynamic balance activities in 2 conditions: the SPHM device condition (DC) and independent condition (IC). Using wearable inertial sensors, investigators assessed specific components of these activities, including duration and trunk angle during rising to and lowering from standing in a STS and duration and turn velocity during the 180° turn in the Timed Up and Go (TUG) test and a 360° pivot turn. In the rising and lowering phases of the STS, trunk flexion was reduced, rising to stand was faster, and lowering to sit was slower during the DC. Overall, tests of dynamic balance revealed slower duration and velocity during DC, but 360° and 180° rotation was similar for both conditions. Results are preliminary and indicate the need for further investigation of the effect of overhead devices on transfer and balance activities.

Darragh AR, Hines E, Wengerd L, Basso DM

Keywords: gait training, balance training, overhead device, safe patient handling