BACKGROUND: Independent mobility is the most important determinant of quality of life after stroke and it is vital that training aimed at restoration of gait is based on contemporary evidence. Despite several practice guidelines for gait rehabilitation after stroke existing globally, their feasibility of application in low-resource settings is often questionable. OBJECTIVE: To investigate the current practices in gait training among Indian physiotherapists involved in the rehabilitation of stroke survivors. METHODS: A questionnaire on the various aspects of gait training was developed and the content was validated by experts. The survey was made available online and distributed among Indian physiotherapists working in the field of stroke rehabilitation, using snowball sampling. Frequency distribution was used to summarize responses to each component of the questionnaire. RESULTS: Responses were obtained from 250 practicing physiotherapists. The majority of the respondents (55%) reported that they initiate gait training within seven days after stroke. Gait training sessions ranged from 15-30 minutes (55%), once every day (44%), and the majority (89%) reported use of subjective outcome measures to evaluate gait. Although most respondents agreed on the use of assistive aids, 24% indicated that their use may deter gait, rather than improve it. Nearly 86% of the respondents reported that they do not follow standard guidelines pertaining to gait rehabilitation for stroke survivors. CONCLUSION: The findings of the study point toward a lack of evidence-based practice among Indian physiotherapists while training gait after stroke. This implied the urgent need for development and implementation of country specific guidelines for stroke rehabilitation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
- Clinical Neurology