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      Powered robotic exoskeletons in post-stroke rehabilitation of gait: a scoping review

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          Abstract

          Powered robotic exoskeletons are a potential intervention for gait rehabilitation in stroke to enable repetitive walking practice to maximize neural recovery. As this is a relatively new technology for stroke, a scoping review can help guide current research and propose recommendations for advancing the research development. The aim of this scoping review was to map the current literature surrounding the use of robotic exoskeletons for gait rehabilitation in adults post-stroke. Five databases (Pubmed, OVID MEDLINE, CINAHL, Embase, Cochrane Central Register of Clinical Trials) were searched for articles from inception to October 2015. Reference lists of included articles were reviewed to identify additional studies. Articles were included if they utilized a robotic exoskeleton as a gait training intervention for adult stroke survivors and reported walking outcome measures. Of 441 records identified, 11 studies, all published within the last five years, involving 216 participants met the inclusion criteria. The study designs ranged from pre-post clinical studies ( n = 7) to controlled trials ( n = 4); five of the studies utilized a robotic exoskeleton device unilaterally, while six used a bilateral design. Participants ranged from sub-acute (<7 weeks) to chronic (>6 months) stroke. Training periods ranged from single-session to 8-week interventions. Main walking outcome measures were gait speed, Timed Up and Go, 6-min Walk Test, and the Functional Ambulation Category. Meaningful improvement with exoskeleton-based gait training was more apparent in sub-acute stroke compared to chronic stroke. Two of the four controlled trials showed no greater improvement in any walking outcomes compared to a control group in chronic stroke. In conclusion, clinical trials demonstrate that powered robotic exoskeletons can be used safely as a gait training intervention for stroke. Preliminary findings suggest that exoskeletal gait training is equivalent to traditional therapy for chronic stroke patients, while sub-acute patients may experience added benefit from exoskeletal gait training. Efforts should be invested in designing rigorous, appropriately powered controlled trials before powered exoskeletons can be translated into a clinical tool for gait rehabilitation post-stroke.

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          Scoping studies: towards a methodological framework

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            Scoping studies: advancing the methodology

            Background Scoping studies are an increasingly popular approach to reviewing health research evidence. In 2005, Arksey and O'Malley published the first methodological framework for conducting scoping studies. While this framework provides an excellent foundation for scoping study methodology, further clarifying and enhancing this framework will help support the consistency with which authors undertake and report scoping studies and may encourage researchers and clinicians to engage in this process. Discussion We build upon our experiences conducting three scoping studies using the Arksey and O'Malley methodology to propose recommendations that clarify and enhance each stage of the framework. Recommendations include: clarifying and linking the purpose and research question (stage one); balancing feasibility with breadth and comprehensiveness of the scoping process (stage two); using an iterative team approach to selecting studies (stage three) and extracting data (stage four); incorporating a numerical summary and qualitative thematic analysis, reporting results, and considering the implications of study findings to policy, practice, or research (stage five); and incorporating consultation with stakeholders as a required knowledge translation component of scoping study methodology (stage six). Lastly, we propose additional considerations for scoping study methodology in order to support the advancement, application and relevance of scoping studies in health research. Summary Specific recommendations to clarify and enhance this methodology are outlined for each stage of the Arksey and O'Malley framework. Continued debate and development about scoping study methodology will help to maximize the usefulness and rigor of scoping study findings within healthcare research and practice.
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              Update on the Global Burden of Ischemic and Hemorrhagic Stroke in 1990-2013: The GBD 2013 Study

              Background: Global stroke epidemiology is changing rapidly. Although age-standardized rates of stroke mortality have decreased worldwide in the past 2 decades, the absolute numbers of people who have a stroke every year, and live with the consequences of stroke or die from their stroke, are increasing. Regular updates on the current level of stroke burden are important for advancing our knowledge on stroke epidemiology and facilitate organization and planning of evidence-based stroke care. Objectives: This study aims to estimate incidence, prevalence, mortality, disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) and years lived with disability (YLDs) and their trends for ischemic stroke (IS) and hemorrhagic stroke (HS) for 188 countries from 1990 to 2013. Methodology: Stroke incidence, prevalence, mortality, DALYs and YLDs were estimated using all available data on mortality and stroke incidence, prevalence and excess mortality. Statistical models and country-level covariate data were employed, and all rates were age-standardized to a global population. All estimates were produced with 95% uncertainty intervals (UIs). Results: In 2013, there were globally almost 25.7 million stroke survivors (71% with IS), 6.5 million deaths from stroke (51% died from IS), 113 million DALYs due to stroke (58% due to IS) and 10.3 million new strokes (67% IS). Over the 1990-2013 period, there was a significant increase in the absolute number of DALYs due to IS, and of deaths from IS and HS, survivors and incident events for both IS and HS. The preponderance of the burden of stroke continued to reside in developing countries, comprising 75.2% of deaths from stroke and 81.0% of stroke-related DALYs. Globally, the proportional contribution of stroke-related DALYs and deaths due to stroke compared to all diseases increased from 1990 (3.54% (95% UI 3.11-4.00) and 9.66% (95% UI 8.47-10.70), respectively) to 2013 (4.62% (95% UI 4.01-5.30) and 11.75% (95% UI 10.45-13.31), respectively), but there was a diverging trend in developed and developing countries with a significant increase in DALYs and deaths in developing countries, and no measurable change in the proportional contribution of DALYs and deaths from stroke in developed countries. Conclusion: Global stroke burden continues to increase globally. More efficient stroke prevention and management strategies are urgently needed to halt and eventually reverse the stroke pandemic, while universal access to organized stroke services should be a priority.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                604-714-4105 , janice.eng@ubc.ca
                Journal
                J Neuroeng Rehabil
                J Neuroeng Rehabil
                Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation
                BioMed Central (London )
                1743-0003
                8 June 2016
                8 June 2016
                2016
                : 13
                : 53
                Affiliations
                [ ]Graduate Program in Rehabilitation Sciences, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC Canada
                [ ]Department of Physical Therapy, University of British Columbia, 212-2177 Wesbrook Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z3 Canada
                [ ]Rehabilitation Research Program, Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute, Vancouver, BC Canada
                Article
                162
                10.1186/s12984-016-0162-5
                4898381
                27278136
                cb8cae67-7fd7-44d7-a83a-486d127b08b3
                © The Author(s). 2016

                Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

                History
                : 16 March 2016
                : 3 June 2016
                Funding
                Funded by: FundRef http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/100004411, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada;
                Award ID: Grant-in-Aid
                Award Recipient :
                Categories
                Review
                Custom metadata
                © The Author(s) 2016

                Neurosciences
                stroke,cerebrovascular accident,robotic exoskeleton,gait rehabilitation,scoping review

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