Association Between Reliance on Devices and People for Walking and Ability to Walk Community Distances Among Persons With Spinal Cord InjuryBy Brotherton, Sandra S.; Saunders, Lee L.; Krause, James S.; Morrisette, David C.; Journal of Spinal Cord Medicine, Volume 35, Number 3, pages 156-161
Publication Date: May 2012
Study was undertaken to identify and describe the frequency of reliance on assistive devices and/or people for ambulating distances and stair climbing among persons with spinal cord injury (SCI). Participants were 429 respondents to a questionnaire sent to patients with traumatic SCI who were identified through inpatient and outpatient databases at a specialty hospital in the southeast United States. Respondents, of whom 68 percent were male, had an average age at injury of 36.3 years, while average number of years since injury was 9.8. While all participants reported being able to walk 10 meters, just over half of participants could walk 1000 feet or more, and 72 percent reported being able to walk a flight of stairs. Just over a third of participants reported not using any devices or people to assist in ambulation, while 30 percent used one device or personal assistance, about 23 percent used two devices or personal assistance, and about 14 percent used three or more devices or personal assistance. The most frequently reported device used was the cane, followed by a walker, short leg braces, crutches, and long leg braces. Participants best able to ambulate community distances were those who were independent with ambulation and those who used one cane or crutch. Reliance on people or use of a walker was associated with walking shorter distances. Regression analysis indicated reliance on devices or people for walking predicted variation in ability to ambulate community distances after controlling for demographics and injury characteristics.
Published by: American Paraplegia Society (Website:http://www.apssci.org)