ABSTRACT: To study immediate gait changes in persons with PD when walking with different assistive walking devices.
Ten individuals with idiopathic PD participated in the study. Gait parameters were recorded while walking with a cane and a wheeled walker, and were compared to a free walk without a walking device.
Persons with PD walked with slower gait speed when using a cane and a wheeled walker compared to walking without any device (p = 0.007, p = 0.002, respectively). Stride length reduced significantly when walking with a wheeled walker (p = 0.001). Walking with the assistive devices did not affect cadence, double support phase, heel to heel base of support, stride time, and stance period.
Persons with PD immediately walked with slower gait speed when using either a cane or a wheeled walker, and with shorter stride length when walking with a wheeled walker. The results may lead to more cautious clinical practice in gait rehabilitation using ambulatory assisted devices.
Disability and rehabilitation. Assistive technology 09/2011; 7(2):149-52.