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Journal Article

Musical motor feedback (MMF) in walking hemiparetic stroke patients: Randomized trials of gait improvement


Schauer,  Michael
MPI of Cognitive Neuroscience (Leipzig, -2003), The Prior Institutes, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Schauer, M., & Mauritz, K. H. (2003). Musical motor feedback (MMF) in walking hemiparetic stroke patients: Randomized trials of gait improvement. Clinical Rehabilitation, 17(7), 713-722. doi:10.1191/0269215503cr668oa.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0010-C936-B
OBJECTIVE: To demonstrate the effect of rhythmical auditory stimulation in a musical context for gait therapy in hemiparetic stroke patients, when the stimulation is played back measure by measure initiated by the patient's heel-strikes (musical motor feedback). Does this type of musical feedback improve walking more than a less specific gait therapy? DESIGN: The randomized controlled trial considered 23 registered stroke patients. Two groups were created by randomization: the control group received 15 sessions of conventional gait therapy and the test group received 15 therapy sessions with musical motor feedback. SETTING: Inpatient rehabilitation hospital. SUBJECTS: Median post-stroke interval was 44 days and the patients were able to walk without technical aids with a speed of approximately 0.71 m/s. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Gait velocity, step duration, gait symmetry, stride length and foot rollover path length (heel-on-toe-off distance). RESULT: The test group showed more mean improvement than the control group: stride length increased by 18% versus 0%, symmetry deviation decreased by 58% versus 20%, walking speed increased by 27% versus 4% and rollover path length increased by 28% versus 11%. CONCLUSION: Musical motor feedback improves the stroke patient's walk in selected parameters more than conventional gait therapy. A fixed memory in the patient's mind about the song and its timing may stimulate the improvement of gait even without the presence of an external pacemaker.