People with chronic stroke (PwCS) demonstrate similar gait-slip fall-risk on both paretic and non-paretic side. Compensatory stepping and slipping limb control are crucial to reduce gait-slip fall-risk. Given the unpredictable intensities of real-life perturbations, this study aimed to determine whether recovery from paretic or non-paretic slips vary as a function of perturbation intensity among PwCS. Forty-four PwCS were assigned to non-paretic low intensity slip, non-paretic high intensity slip, paretic low intensity slip, or paretic high intensity slip group. Participants were subjected to a novel overground gait-slip with a distance of 24 cm (low) or 45 cm (high), under either limb. Recovery strategies, center of mass (CoM) state stability and slipping kinematics were analyzed. Both non-paretic high and low intensity groups demonstrated similar percentage of aborted and recovery stepping, however, paretic high intensity group demonstrated greater aborted stepping (p > 0.05). Both high and low intensity paretic slip groups demonstrated reduced post-slip CoM stability relative to the non-paretic slip groups (p < 0.05). Slip displacement was greater in paretic high group compared with non-paretic high group (p < 0.05). Greater slip displacement at higher intensity was noted only in paretic slip group (p < 0.05). The slip velocity was faster in paretic groups compared to non-paretic slip groups (p < 0.05). Paretic slips showed lower stability at both intensities associated with difficulty in modulating slipping kinematics and resorting to an increased aborted stepping strategy compared to non-paretic slip. These findings are suggestive of developing balance interventions for improving both compensatory non-paretic limb stepping and reactive control of slipping paretic limb for fall-risk reduction.
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