The Effects of Obstacle Height on the Stepping Over Gait in Parkinson's Patients Kim, Mi-Young; Lim, Bee-Oh;
Falls associated with tripping over an obstacle can be dangerous, yet little is known about the strategies used for stepping over obstacles by Parkinson's patients. The purpose of this study was to investigate stepping over gait characteristics according to obstacle height in Parkinson's patients. The gait of 7 Parkinson's patients was examined during a 5.0 m approach to, and while stepping over, obstacles of 0, 2.5, 5.2, and 15.2 cm. Only five Parkinson's patients were able to clear all obstacles successfully; as such, only their data were analyzed. A one-way ANOVA for repeated measures was employed for selected kinematic variables to analyze the differences of the height of four obstacles. The results showed significant differences between obstacle height and: approaching speed (AS), foot clearance from the obstacle(FC), and step width (SW). The results showed no significant differences between obstacle height and: crossing speed (CS), toe distance (TD), and heel distance (HD). This strategy tends to reduce the risk of toe contact with the obstacle. Parkinson's patients were stepping over the obstacle slowly, stably and inefficiently.
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