This systematic review synthesized and analyzed clinical findings related to the effectiveness of innovative technological feedback for tackling functional gait recovery. An electronic search of PUBMED, PEDro, WOS, CINAHL, and DIALNET was conducted from January 2011 to December 2016. The main inclusion criteria were: patients with modified or abnormal gait; application of technology-based feedback to deal with functional recovery of gait; any comparison between different kinds of feedback applied by means of technology, or any comparison between technological and non-technological feedback; and randomized controlled trials. Twenty papers were included. The populations were neurological patients (75%), orthopedic and healthy subjects. All participants were adults, bar one. Four studies used exoskeletons, 6 load platforms and 5 pressure sensors. The breakdown of the type of feedback used was as follows: 60% visual, 40% acoustic and 15% haptic. 55% used terminal feedback versus 65% simultaneous feedback. Prescriptive feedback was used in 60% of cases, while 50% used descriptive feedback. 62.5% and 58.33% of the trials showed a significant effect in improving step length and speed, respectively. Efficacy in improving other gait parameters such as balance or range of movement is observed in more than 75% of the studies with significant outcomes. Conclusion: Treatments based on feedback using innovative technology in patients with abnormal gait are mostly effective in improving gait parameters and therefore useful for the functional recovery of patients. The most frequently highlighted types of feedback were immediate visual feedback followed by terminal and immediate acoustic feedback.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited