Effets d'un programme de marche au sol avec un exosquelette robotisé offert à des personnes ayant une lésion chronique de la moelle épinière et utilisant un fauteuil roulant comme principal mode de locomotion: Une étude prospective longitudinale avec mesures répétées pré et post intervention


Dany Gagnon

CIUSSS du Centre-Sud-de-l'Île-de-Montréal


Domaine : appareil locomoteur et arthrite

Programme Consortium pour le développement de la recherche en traumatologie - Volet 1

Concours 2018-2019

Many individuals with a spinal cord injury (SCI) use a wheelchair as their primary mode of locomotion. The prolonged non-active sitting time associated to this mode of locomotion contributes to development or worsening of numerous adverse health effects. To counter this vicious circle, engaging in a walking program with a wearable robotic exoskeleton (WRE) is a promising physical activity intervention. In fact, walking with a WRE promotes, among other things, lower limb weight-bearing and mobility while soliciting the trunk and upper limbs muscles and the cardiorespiratory system.

Our novel pilot work confirmed that such a program strengthens bones and reduces total body fat while additional physical, physiological, and psychological benefits are anticipated. Additional studies are needed to strengthen the level of evidence. This project aims to 1) measure the effects of an overground walking program with an WRE, 2) identify which individuals with a SCI may best respond to the walking program with the WRE, and 3) identify which walking program attributes are the most important to anticipate beneficial effects. Wheelchair users with a chronic SCI will enroll into a 16-week overground walking program with a WRE. They will complete 1-to-3 training sessions/week. All sessions will be supervised by a certified trainer.

Measures will be collected 1 month and immediately before the intervention as well as immediately after and 2 months after the end of the intervention. Clinical and laboratory assessments, as well as questionnaires, will be completed. Interviews will be conducted to measure user's satisfaction and perspectives at the end of the program. The new knowledge will inform the development of novel community and home-based adapted physical activity programs and may facilitate the prescription and uptake of WRE by wheelchair users with a chronic SCI in the community.