Impact of motor therapy with dynamic body-weight support on Functional Independence Measures in traumatic brain injury: An exploratory study

Emily Anggelis, Elizabeth Salmon Powell, Philip M. Westgate, Amanda C. Glueck, Lumy Sawaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Contemporary goals of rehabilitation after traumatic brain injury (TBI) aim to improve cognitive and motor function by applying concepts of neuroplasticity. This can be challenging to carry out in TBI patients with motor, balance, and cognitive impairments. OBJECTIVE: To determine whether use of dynamic body-weight support (DBWS) would allow safe administration of intensive motor therapy during inpatient rehabilitation and whether its use would yield greater improvement in functional recovery than standard-of-care (SOC) therapy in adults with TBI. METHODS: Data in this retrospective cohort study was collected from patients with TBI who receive inpatient rehabilitation incorporating DBWS (n = 6) and who received inpatient rehabilitation without DBWS (SOC, n = 6). The primary outcome measure was the change in Functional Independence Measures (FIM) scores from admission to discharge. RESULTS: There was significant improvement in total FIM scores at discharge compared to admission for both the DBWS (p = 0.001) and SOC (p = 0.005) groups. Overall, the DBWS group had greater improvement in total FIM score and FIM subscales compared to the SOC group. CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest DBWS has the potential to allow a greater intensity of therapy during inpatient rehabilitation and yield better outcomes compared to SOC in patients with TBI.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)519-524
Number of pages6
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This feasibility study shows promising data that DBWS may provide beneficial effects to TBI in both This study was funded by the Cardinal Hill Rehabilitation Hospital Endowed Chair in Stroke and Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation (0705129700) and supported by the HealthSouth Therapy Grant. The funding body had no role in the collection, analysis and interpretation of data, or in writing the manuscript. There are no financial benefits to the authors. There are no conflicts of interest related to this research or this manuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019-IOS Press and the authors. All rights reserved.


  • Rehabilitation
  • assistive technology
  • humans
  • inpatient
  • neuroplasticity
  • trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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