Differences in the limits of stability between older rolling walker users and older single-tip-cane users — a preliminary study

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Purpose: To identify the differences in the limits of stability (LOS) between older rolling walker and single-tip-cane users. Design: This was a matched paired t-test design with repeated measure. Methods: Eighteen older subjects were matched based on age, gender, and functional level. The subjects were assessed using the multidirectional reach test initially and 5-month later in four directions: forward, backward, leftward, and rightward. Findings: Initially, there were no differences between cane users and rolling walker users in the LOS in all directions. However, 5-month later, the cane users who held their canes in their right hand had significantly better stability in forward and rightward reach than the walker users (p <.05). Further, the walker users demonstrated significantly decreased functional reach in forward reach (p <.05). Conclusion: Cane users might have better stability than walker users in the forward direction and in the direction toward the side holding the cane. This study may provide guide for clinicians including nurses for selecting appropriate rehabilitative interventions for older adults using walkers and canes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-116
Number of pages8
JournalRehabilitation Nursing
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2017



  • Fall
  • Interventional exercise
  • Older adults
  • Rehabilitation

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