Assessment of dependence on assistive ambulatory devices among older adults: A new tool

Hao Liu, Reta Zabel, Victor Prati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The use of an assistive ambulatory device (AAD) such as a cane or walker may potentially be linked to a greater risk of falling. This study examined the test and re-test reliability of an instrument developed by the authors: the Ambulatory Device Dependence Efficacy Scale (ADDES), which assesses older institutionalized adults’ level of dependence on an AAD, with the aim of determining the relationship (if any) between AAD dependence and falling.

Thirty-five AAD users from two assistive living facilities qualified to participate in this study. The validity of the ADDES was evaluated by three experienced physical therapists working in geriatric settings. The test reliability of the ADDES and how it related to history of falling were also assessed and analysed. This study found the ADDES scale to be highly reliable in testing how dependent an AAD user is on his/her AAD during walking. Findings showed that dependence on an AAD is positively correlated with the length of time it has been used. ADDES scores may indicate the level of falls risk, although a follow-up study is suggested to explore this relationship further.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)419-423
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2007


  • Assistive ambulatory devices
  • Elderly
  • Fall
  • Mobility


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