Document Type

Case Report


Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Science

Degree Name

DPT (Doctor of Physical Therapy)

Session and Year of Graduation

Fall 2018


Laura Frey Law


Background: Residual hemiparesis is common after stroke and affects patients’ ability to perform functional mobility and ambulation. Stroke patients often have decreased gait speed and endurance, limiting their ability to participate in the community. Treadmill training is one method that has been shown to improve gait outcomes after stroke. Preliminary evidence has suggested high intensity interval training (HIIT) can also improve gait outcomes in stroke patients, more efficiently and possibly to a greater degree. Purpose: The purpose of this case report is to 1) describe the use of HIIT as an intervention to improve gait in the sub-acute stroke population and 2) to present one patient’s changes in functional outcomes after HIIT. Case Description: The patient was a 52-year-old male with ischemic middle cerebral artery stroke resulting in right-sided hemiparesis. The patient was admitted to a sub-acute rehabilitation facility in which he received 2 hours of physical therapy daily. Intervention: The patient participated in treadmill HIIT during physical therapy 3 times per week for 2 weeks (6 total sessions). The intensity was prescribed based on the maximal safe treadmill speed and the HIIT protocol consisted of a 60-second bout of activity followed by 60 seconds of rest. Outcome Measures: The 10-Meter Walk Test (10MWT) and 6-Minute Walk Test (6MWT) were used as primary outcome measures of this report. Timed Up and Go (TUG) and Berg Balance Scale (BBS) were used as secondary measures of function. Discussion: The patient was able to ambulate on the treadmill nearly 3 times faster than his self-selected walking speed overground. Gait speed and distance improved in this patient from pre- to post-intervention as well as functional independence with activities of daily living (ADLs) and ambulation. This case demonstrates the feasibility of incorporating HIIT, when appropriate, for patients in the sub-acute phase after stroke.


Stroke; hemiparesis; hemiplegia; high intensity interval training; HIIT; gait training; neurology; physical therapy; rehabilitation


10 pages


Copyright © 2018 Katherine Helmlinger