The purpose of this study was to investigate whether there are differences in gait parameters between true walker users and potential walker users during ambulation. Subjects consisted of 18 rolling walker (RW) users (true user group, TUG) and 15 RW non-users (potential user group, PUG). The older adults in the PUG had a history of at least one fall in the last 12 months or a non-surgery hospitalization in the last 3 months. All subjects traversed the GAITRite® walkway using a RW appropriately adjusted for the subject's height until three successful trials were obtained. The PUG performed three additional trials walking on the GAITRite® walkway without RW assistance. Walking with a RW, the PUG users demonstrated decreased cadence, speed, swing time, step and stride length, and increased double support and stance time compared to walking without a RW. When comparing the TUG and PUG, both walking with a RW, the TUG subjects demonstrated decreased cadence, speed, swing time, step length and stride length, and increased double support and stance time. These results revealed that using a RW for ambulation might result in the user developing a gait pattern with a slower speed, smaller steps, increased stance time, and decreased swing time. The results seemed to indicate that this altered gait pattern may become more apparent the longer an individual uses a RW for ambulation assistance.
- Ambulatory device
- Balance of elderly