Assistive Walking Devices in Nonambulant Patients Undergoing Rehabilitation After Stroke: The Effects on Functional Mobility, Walking Impairments, and Patients' OpinionBy Tyson, Sarah F.; Rogerson, Louise; Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Vol. 90, No. 3, pp. 475-479
Publication Date: March 2009
Study assessed the immediate effects of assistive walking devices on functional mobility, walking impairments, and patients’ opinions in non-ambulant patients after stroke. Assistive walking devices used were an adjustable metal walking cane, an Ossur leaf spring ankle-foot orthosis (AFO), and a slider shoe: a custom-made molded plastic half-shoe that fits over the wearer’s own shoe, enabling the patient to slide the weak foot forward for ambulation. Study participants were 20 patients with stroke undergoing rehabilitation to restore walking, of which 10 were unable to walk without assistive devices, 8 needed constant, and 2 needed intermittent support. Participants completed a 5-meter timed walk test under 5 randomized-order conditions: (1) no device, (2) walking cane, (3) AFO, (4) slider shoe, and (5) a combination of all 3 devices. Test results showed improved functional mobility with all assistive devices, with patients being generally positive about the devices, feeling their walking, confidence, and safety improved and finding the appearance and comfort of the devices acceptable. No changes in walking impairments were found. The study results were found to support the use of assistive walking devices to enable early mobilization after stroke. Study limitations and implications for future research are discussed.
Published by: W.B. Saunders Company, a division of Elsevier Health Sciences (Website:http://us.elsevierhealth.com)
American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (Web Site: http://www.aapmr.org/ )
American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine (Web Site: http://www.acrm.org )
Link to text: http://www.archives-pmr.org/article/S0003-9993(08)01680-8