Gait aid use by ambulatory older people in a residential setting: A descriptive exploration

S. C. Watson, L. S. Chipchase, S. F. Mackintosh

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1 Citation (Scopus)


The aim of this study was to describe the use of gait aids by ambulatory older people in a residential care setting. A cross-sectional exploration generating both qualitative and quantitative data was undertaken in a South Australian low-care population (n = 31). Demographic data were collected via case note review. Type of aid, mode of use and reasons for gait aid use were investigated via a structured face-to-face interview. Results identified four discrete groups of gait aid users in this population: those who used no aid (n = 5), those who used a stick only (n = 7), those who used a frame only (n = 13) and those who used both a stick and a frame (n = 6). In total, 31% of gait aids were self-prescribed and 33% of frames were used inappropriately. A vast range of psychosocial and behavioural factors was described by subjects to influence gait aid type and use. These findings suggest that self-prescription by older people may indicate alternative underlying needs that may be better met by therapeutic interventions other than gait aid prescription.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-24
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2004
Externally publishedYes


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