5 years ago

The effects of haptic input on biomechanical and neurophysiological parameters of walking: A scoping review

Walking is an important component of daily life requiring sensorimotor integration to be successful. Adding haptic input via light touch or anchors has been shown to improve standing balance; however, the effect of adding haptic input on walking is not clear. This scoping review systematically summarizes the current evidence regarding the addition of haptic input on walking in adults. Following an established protocol, relevant studies were identified using indexed data bases (Medline, EMBASE, PsychINFO, Google Scholar) and hand searches of published review articles on related topics. 644 references were identified and screened by a minimum of two independent researchers before data was extracted from 17 studies. A modified TREND tool was used to assess quality of the references which showed that the majority of studies were of moderate or high quality. Results show that adding haptic input changes walking behaviour. In particular, there is an immediate reduction in variability of gait step parameters and whole body stability, as well as a decrease in lower limb muscle activity. The effect of added haptic input on reflex modulation may depend on the limb of interest (i.e., upper or lower limb). Many studies did not clearly describe the amount and/or direction of haptic input applied. This information is needed to replicate and/or advance their results. More investigations into the use and design of the haptic tools, the attentional demands of adding haptic input, and clarity on short-term effects are needed. In addition, more is research needed to determine whether adding haptic input has significant, lasting benefits that may translate to fall prevention efforts.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0966636217308391

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