PURPOSE: This study examined the effects of Interactive Metronome training on the plantar pressure and fall efficacy in chronic stroke patients.
METHODS: Twenty-two hemiplegic patients were allocated randomly to an experimental group and control group. The experimental group received conventional physical therapy and emphasized weight-bearing interactive metronome training, whereas the control group received conventional physical therapy. The training was performed three times per week, 40 minutes per each session, for a total of seven weeks. The plantar pressure was assessed using the contact area and contact pressure, whereas the fall efficacy was assessed using the FES (Fall Efficacy Scale), ABC (Activities-specific Balance Confidence scale) and FOFQ (Fear of Falling Questionnaire).
RESULTS: After training, a significant increase was observed in the paretic side of the contact area and the paretic and non-paretic side of contact pressure in both groups (p<.05). The between-group differences in the changes before and after training were statistically significant in the paretic side of the contact pressure (p<.05). After training, both the FES of the between-group and ABC of the experimental group were increased significantly (p<.05), but the between-group differences in the changes before and after training were not statistically significant in the FES, ABC, and FOFQ (p>.05).
CONCLUSION: Interactive Metronome training is considered an effective treatment for improving the contact pressure of the paretic side in chronic stroke patients.