The Effect of Exoskeletal-Assisted Walking on Spinal Cord Injury Bowel Function: Results from a Randomized Trial and Comparison to Other Physical Interventions.
AuthorGorman, Peter H
Forrest, Gail F
Asselin, Pierre K
Spungen, Ann M
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractBowel function after spinal cord injury (SCI) is compromised because of a lack of voluntary control and reduction in bowel motility, often leading to incontinence and constipation not easily managed. Physical activity and upright posture may play a role in dealing with these issues. We performed a three-center, randomized, controlled, crossover clinical trial of exoskeletal-assisted walking (EAW) compared to usual activity (UA) in people with chronic SCI. As a secondary outcome measure, the effect of this intervention on bowel function was assessed using a 10-question bowel function survey, the Bristol Stool Form Scale (BSS) and the Spinal Cord Injury Quality of Life (SCI-QOL) Bowel Management Difficulties instrument. Fifty participants completed the study, with bowel data available for 49. The amount of time needed for the bowel program on average was reduced in 24% of the participants after EAW. A trend toward normalization of stool form was noted. There were no significant effects on patient-reported outcomes for bowel function for the SCI-QOL components, although the time since injury may have played a role. Subset analysis suggested that EAW produces a greater positive effect in men than women and may be more effective in motor-complete individuals with respect to stool consistency. EAW, along with other physical interventions previously investigated, may be able to play a previously underappreciated role in assisting with SCI-related bowel dysfunction. © 2021 by the authors.
Identifier to cite or link to this itemhttp://hdl.handle.net/10713/16630
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