Objective . The aim was to compare walking with an individually designed dynamic hinged ankle foot orthosis (DAFO) and a standard carbon composite ankle foot orthosis (C-AFO). Methods . Twelve participants, mean age 56 years (range 26–72), with hemiparesis due to stroke were included in the study. During the six-minute walk test (6MW), walking velocity, the Physiological Cost Index (PCI), and the degree of experienced exertion were measured with a DAFO and C-AFO, respectively, followed by a Stairs Test velocity and perceived confidence was rated. Results . The mean differences in favor for the DAFO were in 6MW 24.3 m (95% confidence interval [CI] 4.90, 43.76), PCI −0.09 beats/m (95% CI −0.27, 0.95), velocity 0.04 m/s (95% CI −0.01, 0.097), and in the Stairs Test −11.8 s (95% CI −19.05, −4.48). All participants except one perceived the degree of experienced exertion lower and felt more confident when walking with the DAFO. Conclusions . Wearing a DAFO resulted in longer walking distance and faster stair climbing compared to walking with a C-AFO. Eleven of twelve participants felt more confident with the DAFO, which may be more important than speed and distance and the most important reason for prescribing an AFO.
Slijper, A., Danielsson, A., & Willén, C. (2012). Ambulatory Function and Perception of Confidence in Persons with Stroke with a Custom-Made Hinged versus a Standard Ankle Foot Orthosis. Rehabilitation Research and Practice, 2012, 1–6. https://doi.org/10.1155/2012/206495