Most stroke survivors can walk short distances but do not achieve good community ambulation. This limited mobility has health and wellbeing implications, reducing physical activity and fitness of individuals, making them vulnerable to secondary stroke and other diseases. It also affects their quality of life and ability to participate in social activities.
Any intervention that improves walking endurance, health and community mobility can benefit stroke survivors. The walking training with distracter tasks should improve walking performance, community mobility, health and lifestyle in people after stroke.
50 people who have had a stroke at least six months who are able to walk and can safely participate in exercise will be recruited. Subjects will be asked from stroke units, community hospitals and stroke interest group newsletters.
Participants will be randomly assigned into one of two treatment groups: a 45-minute treadmill walking whilst performing distracting tasks group or to a comparison 45-minute treadmill walking group. Training sessions will be three times a week for eight weeks and supported in a Clinical Exercise and Rehabilitation Unit. Recruited participants will be assessed at entry to the study, after eight weeks training and again at twenty weeks.
The research team are extremely experienced in carrying out safe therapeutic interventions, specifically in treadmill training in those recovering from a stroke.