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Supervised exercise therapy (SET) is a conservative non-operative treatment strategy for improving walking performance in patients with peripheral artery disease (PAD). Gait variability is altered in patients with PAD, but the effect of SET on gait variability is unknown. Forty-three claudicating patients with PAD underwent gait analysis before and immediately after a 6-month SET program. Nonlinear gait variability was assessed using sample entropy, and the largest Lyapunov exponent of the ankle, knee, and hip joint angle time series. Linear mean and variability of the range of motion time series for these three joint angles were also calculated. Two-factor repeated measure analysis of variance determined the effect of the intervention and joint location on linear and nonlinear dependent variables. After SET, walking regularity decreased, while the stability remained unaffected. Ankle nonlinear variability had increased values compared with the knee and hip joints. Linear measures did not change following SET, except for knee angle, in which the magnitude of variations increased after the intervention. A six-month SET program produced changes in gait variability toward the direction of healthy controls, which indicates that in general, SET improved walking performance in individuals with PAD.


Copyright: © 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https:// 4.0/).

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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