Auditory feedback has earlier been explored as a tool to enhance patient awareness of gait kinematics during rehabilitation. In this study, we devised and tested a novel set of concurrent feedback paradigms on swing phase kinematics in hemiparetic gait training. We adopted a user-centered design approach, where kinematic data recorded from 15 hemiparetic patients was used to design three feedback algorithms (wading sounds, abstract, musical) based on filtered gyroscopic data from four inexpensive wireless inertial units. The algorithms were tested (hands-on) by a focus group of five physiotherapists. They recommended that the abstract and musical algorithms be discarded due to sound quality and informational ambiguity. After modifying the wading algorithm (as per their feedback), we conducted a feasibility test involving nine hemiparetic patients and seven physiotherapists, where variants of the algorithm were applied to a conventional overground training session. Most patients found the feedback meaningful, enjoyable to use, natural-sounding, and tolerable for the typical training duration. Three patients exhibited immediate improvements in gait quality when the feedback was applied. However, minor gait asymmetries were found to be difficult to perceive in the feedback, and there was variability in receptiveness and motor change among the patients. We believe that our findings can advance current research in inertial sensor-based auditory feedback for motor learning enhancement during neurorehabilitation.

Udgave nummer8
StatusUdgivet - 13 apr. 2023


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