Date of Award

2007

Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)

Department

Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Meridee Danks

Keywords

Gait; Self-Help Devices

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine if regularly ambulating with and without an ambulatory assistive device will lead to differences in the spatiotemporal and kinematic parameters of gait demonstrated by the subjects status post cerebral vascular accident. This study was comprised of a series of three case studies. All subjects were a minimum of fifty years old, at least three months status post cerebral vascular accident, capable of effectively communicating with researchers, and in good health. Ambulation criteria for inclusion were to regularly ambulate independently for 50 feet without use of an ambulatory assistive device, and regularly ambulate for an extended distances (at least 100') with an ambulatory assistive device. Gait was assessed using observational gait analysis and the GAITRite® system. The GAITRite® system is an electronic walkway, which collects the spatiotemporal parameters of gait. None of the subjects demonstrated major alterations in kinematic gait parameters between when an ambulatory assistive device was used and not used. The only consistent deviation noted was a decrease in cadence (walker -12.1 %, cane -5.9%) and velocity (walker -11.3%, cane -6.5%) when an ambulatory assistive device was used in conjunction with an increase in step time (walker 14.9%, cane 5.7%) and cycle time (walker 13.6%, cane 6.4%). However, all subjects indicated feelings of increased safety when using an ambulatory assistive device. While the beneficial effects are as yet undetermined, there would appear to be no detrimental effects of ambulating. Further research is required to substantiate these results.

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