The design of a randomized control trial of exoskeletal-assisted walking in the home and community on quality of life in persons with chronic spinal cord injury
AuthorSpungen, Ann M
Bauman, William A
Jones, Karen M
Snodgrass, Amanda J
Goetz, Lance L
Gorman, Peter H
White, Kevin T
Asselin, Pierre K
Morin, Kel G
Cirnigliaro, Christopher M
Huang, Grant D
JournalContemporary Clinical Trials
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractThere are more than 300,000 estimated cases of spinal cord injury (SCI) in the United States, and approximately 27,000 of these are Veterans. Immobilization from SCI results in adverse secondary medical conditions and reduced quality of life. Veterans with SCI who have completed rehabilitation after injury and are unable to ambulate receive a wheelchair as standard of care. Powered exoskeletons are a technology that offers an alternative form of limited mobility by enabling over-ground walking through an external framework for support and computer-controlled motorized hip and knee joints. Few studies have reported the safety and efficacy for use of these devices in the home and community environments, and none evaluated their impact on patient-centered outcomes through a randomized clinical trial (RCT). Absence of reported RCTs for powered exoskeletons may be due to a range of challenges, including designing, statistically powering, and conducting such a trial within an appropriate experimental framework. An RCT for the study of exoskeletal-assisted walking in the home and community environments also requires the need to address key factors such as: avoiding selection bias, participant recruitment and retention, training, and safety concerns, particularly in the home environment. These points are described here in the context of a national, multisite Department of Veterans Affairs Cooperative Studies Program-sponsored trial. The rationale and methods for the study design were focused on providing a template for future studies that use powered exoskeletons or other strategies for walking and mobility in people with immobilization due to SCI.
SponsorsThis study was funded by the Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration, Cooperative Studies Program, CS #2003.
Identifier to cite or link to this itemhttp://hdl.handle.net/10713/13623
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