This feasibility study looks to evaluate ankle exoskeleton assistance in community settings for individuals with cerebral palsy.
Flagstaff, Arizona 86011, United States
Diagnosis of cerebral palsy
Gross Motor Function Classification Level I, II, or III
Able to walk for at least 20 minutes with or without a walking aid
Able to safely fit into a device configuration and tolerate assistance without knee hyperextension while walking
Able to provide verbal assent, if appropriate. If the participant is non-verbal, parental interpretation of gesticulation for assent will be used.
Any neurological, musculoskeletal or cardiorespiratory injury, health condition ( including pregnancy), or diagnosis other than cerebral palsy that would affect the ability to walk as directed for short periods of time.
Participant or parent report that the perspective participant's physician has recommended that they not engage in moderate intensity walking exercise.
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Next, participants will complete "pre" walking tests with and without the device (order randomized) on a 15-minute pre planned community walk in close proximity with their own home. Distance, time, heart-rate, and perceived exertion will be recorded. The expected duration is 1-2 hours.
Next, participants will be asked to complete (under parental supervision for minors) the pre-determined walking route every day for 1 week with or without ankle exoskeleton assistance (block randomized). Following the first week of independent walking practice, participants will complete "post" walking tests with and without the device on the same walking route. Distance, time, heart-rate, and perceived exertion will be recorded. The expected duration is 1-2 hours.
Participants will then have a 2-6 week washout period.
Following this washout, the pre- and post-assessments will be completed before and after, respectively, another week of identical community walking practice completed under the remaining condition (either exoskeleton or no exoskeleton).