In March 2015 the ‘Move On’ project started. During this project, people who sustained a stroke will be trained in their balance capacities. Currently, for people in the chronic phase (more than 6 months) after stroke only a few training options are available in daily clinical practice. These chronic stroke survivors, however, very often experience balance and gait deficits. These deficits are the most important risk factor for falls and fall-related injuries in this population.
We aim at developing several types of training for people in the chronic phase after stroke. Currently, balance training yields different pattern of results between individuals. Therefore we aim to gain more insight in causes of balance deficits such that treatments can be adjusted to individual needs of the patient. So far, measuring balance quality very accurately is restricted to laboratories. This project aims at enabling these types of training and research in daily clinical practice.
TU Delft, Radboud university medical center and the company Motekforce Link will develop a treadmill, which both measures and trains balance capacities of individuals in daily practice. The treadmill will be evaluated at the Sint Maartenskliniek in Nijmegen, Tolbrug specialistische revalidatie in Den Bosch, Amstelland Fysiotherapie in Amstelveen en Pieter van Foreest Fysiotherapie in Delft. In one group of people with stroke, four types of training will be delivered to determine which type of training will result in the largest balance improvement. In another group of stroke survivors, we will measure individual balance capacity once and subsequently monitor activity levels and fall rates in daily life for a period of 1 year. Physical activity levels will be measured by using activity monitors provided by 2M Engineering. This project will provide more knowledge about balance rehabilitation and activity levels in people after stroke. The newly developed treadmill will later be used in both rehabilitation centers and local primary-care centers. Individuals in need of intervention will be identified, pointed to appropriate training approaches and evaluated on the treadmill. This approach will have a positive influence on daily independence, social participation and, hopefully, also prevents falling in people after stroke.