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Brazilian Journal of Physical Therapy

Print version ISSN 1413-3555On-line version ISSN 1809-9246


FARIA, Christina D. C. M.; REIS, Dirlene A.; TEIXEIRA-SALMELA, Luci F.  and  NADEAU, Sylvie. Performance of hemiplegic patients in 180º turns in the direction of the paretic and non-paretic sides before and after a training program. Rev. bras. fisioter. [online]. 2009, vol.13, n.5, pp.451-457.  Epub Oct 23, 2009. ISSN 1413-3555.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the performance of hemiplegic patients in 180° turns before and after a training program which is effective in improving other functional tasks, considering the effect of the turning direction. METHODS: Thirty chronic hemiplegics (17 men and 13 women; 56.36±10.86 years) participated in a training program (aerobic activities and muscular strengthening) and were evaluated before and after the intervention by means of the Step/Quick Turn (SQT; Balance Master®), which involves a 180° turn during gait. Gait velocity and stair climbing ability were also evaluated. Mixed repeated-measures ANOVA (2x2) was used to compare the turning direction (paretic and non-paretic) and the pre- and post-intervention evaluations. Paired t tests were used to investigate the impact of the training program on gait velocity and stair climbing ability (α=0.05). RESULTS: No significant differences were found in any of the SQT variables when considering the turning direction (0.23<p<0.81; 0.06<F<1.48). However, there was a significant improvement in the time taken to execute the turn (p=0.01; F=6.90), regardless of the turning direction (p=0.56; F=0.34), in gait velocity and in stair climbing ability (p<0.001). CONCLUSIONS: The training program, which is effective in improving gait velocity and stair climbing ability, was also effective in reducing turn execution times regardless of turning direction: turns in the direction of the paretic side were similar to turns in the direction of the non-paretic side.

Keywords : hemiplegia; functional performance; turn.

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