BACKGROUND: Walking difficulties put an individual at high risk of falling, institutionalisation and even death. The use of robotical rehabilitation or assistive devices for walking has gained considerable interest as a means of improving patients’ gait abilities. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this research was to examine patients’ intrinsic motivation to train with a wearable hip exoskeleton (Honda Walking Assist). METHODS: Rehabilitation patients (stroke, medullar lesion, orthopaedic surgery) and elderly (> 65 yrs) with walking difficulties were recruited for this study (n= 23). Each walked with the Honda Walking Assist for 30 minutes during one therapy session and completed the Intrinsic Motivation Inventory (IMI) afterwards. RESULTS: All participants presented with high scores on the IMI, in particular for the items ‘interest/enjoyment’ (median: 43; 25th–75th perc.: 37–46; maximal score: 49), ‘perceived competence of walking’ (35 [31–38]; max. score 42) and ‘value/usefulness’ (44 [35–49]; max. score 49). CONCLUSIONS: This robotic exoskeleton for assisted walking was considered a valuable device by the majority of participants, eliciting a high degree of motivation and enjoyment.
|Journal||Technology and Disability|
|Publication status||Published - 18 Mar 2022|