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Teaching partial weightbearing utilizing summary knowledge of results in normals

1 May 1996


Physicians often order partial weightbearing (PWB) for patients who have received a lower extremity surgery or injury. The purpose of this study was to develop a method for efficiently and effectively teaching a partial weightbearing goal to patients using inexpensive equipment easily found in a clinical setting. Forty-eight subjects obtained on a volunteer basis from a college campus population were randomly assigned to four testing groups. Subjects were trained in three-point gait using axillary crutches, and instructed to walk across a scale placing onIy 25% of their body weight on a specified extremity. The four groups differed only by the number of trials they were requested to perform (group 1=20 trials, group 2=40 trials, group 3=60 trials, group 4=80 trials). Each group received delayed summary knowledge of results feedback presented on a dry erase board after every ten trials. They returned two days later to perform twenty more trials, without any feedback. Results showed learning took place after the first presentation of feedback for all groups, and was demonstrated by retention of the motor learning task two days later. Furthermore, the results demonstrated that the subjects showed no further improvement or regression with more trials.


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