Is Robotic Gait Training Feasible in Adults with Disorders of Consciousness?

Kathryn Williams, Jennifer Christenbury, Janet P. Niemeier, Mark Newman, Shanti Pinto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Objective: To investigate the feasibility and safety of robotic-assisted gait training (RAGT) in adults with disorders of consciousness (DoC). Setting: Inpatient rehabilitation hospital. Participants: Four adult male patients with traumatic brain injury and DoC. Design: Subjects participated in RAGT with body weight support for 5 to 20 minutes, over 1- to 2-week periods. Main Measures: Primary measures included vital signs, walking parameters, pain, arousal, and Agitation Behavior Scale scores. Additional data included Modified Ashworth Scale, Coma Recovery Scale-Revised, and Rancho Los Amigos Scale scores. Results: All participants safely completed at least one session of RAGT with body weight support with safe vital signs and low agitation levels. Two adverse events occurred (increased somnolence and pain due to harness placement), which were not considered severe. All subjects emerged out of DoC at which point research protocol was stopped. Conclusions: Findings suggest inpatient-based RAGT may be safe and feasible to consider when developing a therapy plan of care in adults with DoC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E266-E270
JournalJournal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • disorders of consciousness
  • robotic-assisted gait training
  • traumatic brain injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation
  • Clinical Neurology


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