Spinal Cord Injury and Repair

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					Effects of Locomotor Training
on the Psychosocial Adaptation
of Persons with Incomplete
Spinal Cord Injury
ELIZABETH M. “LISA” HANNOLD, PhD
Research Health Scientist
North Florida/South Georgia Veterans Health System


The focus of Dr. Hannold’s research is to better understand the psychosocial effects of
new rehabilitation therapies on Veterans with disabilities. Her current work involves
studying the impact of manually assisted locomotor training, an emerging therapy used
to enhance the recovery of walking in persons with central nervous system disorders.
The treatment requires participants to step with partial body weight support on a
treadmill while therapists manually facilitate movement of the legs and hips. Preliminary
data analyses have revealed numerous findings, including experiences of the changing
body, experiences of the cognitive and physical demands, and the role of empowerment
in the therapeutic process. Participants identified many benefits from locomotor training,
including increased role participation, knowledge of ambulation, social support, hope,
confidence and self-esteem. All participants preferred locomotor training in comparison
to conventional gait therapies.