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research-article

Adapted motor-assisted elliptical for rehabilitation of children with physical disabilities

[+] Author and Article Information
Judith M. Burnfield

Institute for Rehabilitation Science and Engineering, Madonna Rehabilitation Hospitals, 5401 South St., Lincoln, NE 68506
jburnfield@madonna.org

Thad W. Buster

Institute for Rehabilitation Science and Engineering, Madonna Rehabilitation Hospitals, 5401 South St., Lincoln, NE 68506
tbuster@madonna.org

Chase Pfeifer

Institute for Rehabilitation Science and Engineering, Madonna Rehabilitation Hospitals, 5401 South St., Lincoln, NE 68506
cpfeifer@madonna.org

Sonya L. Irons

Institute for Rehabilitation Science and Engineering, Madonna Rehabilitation Hospitals, 5401 South St., Lincoln, NE 68506
sirons@madonna.org

Guilherme Cesar

Institute for Rehabilitation Science and Engineering, Madonna Rehabilitation Hospitals, 5401 South St., Lincoln, NE 68506
gcesar@madonna.org

Carl Nelson

Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, W316 Nebraska Hall, P.O. Box 880526, Lincoln, NE 68588
cnelson5@unl.edu

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4041588 History: Received February 07, 2018; Revised September 12, 2018

Abstract

Many children with physical disabilities experience difficulty using traditional exercise equipment for gait rehabilitation and fitness training, and the clinician resources required to deliver intensive overground or treadmill-based therapies are infrequently available in most clinics, hospitals, and school settings. This work describes design and testing of a comprehensive set of modifications that enabled children to use a commercially available robotic exercise device (i.e., ICARE) initially developed to address walking and fitness goals of adults with physical disabilities and chronic conditions. Fifteen children (3 to 11 years old) concurrently enrolled in physical therapy due to varied neurologic conditions were recruited with their parent(s) to evaluate the safety, comfort, and usability of the adult ICARE and pediatric-modified ICARE. After children tried each device, feedback was recorded. To assess feasibility, each child then participated in up to 10 sessions (two to five sessions per week; average session length: 38 minutes, range 21-66 minutes) using the pediatric-modified ICARE. Parents, on average, perceived that the pediatric-modified ICARE was significantly safer, more comfortable and usable than the adult ICARE. Children's perceptions of the pediatric-modified ICARE were similar, although not statistically significant. Children used the prototype device during 133 sessions for over 3800 minutes and more than 162,000 cycles. In conclusion, this study demonstrated the feasibility of using the pediatric-modified ICARE with children as young as three years old as an adjunct to ongoing therapy.

Copyright (c) 2018 by ASME
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