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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 1680-5348Print version ISSN 1020-4989


POLESE, Janaíne Cunha et al. Perception of patients with chronic hemiplegia regarding the use of assistive walking devices. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2011, vol.30, n.3, pp.204-208. ISSN 1680-5348.

OBJECTIVE: To assess the perception of patients with chronic hemiplegia regarding the use of assistive walking devices (AWD). METHODS: Twenty-three individuals who met the inclusion criteria and used AWD were recruited from a database of 360 stroke survivors. Their mean age was 58.4 years, mean time since stroke was 80.8 months, and mean time using AWD was 67.6 months. To assess the participants' perception, was used a standardized questionnaire covering the impact of AWDs on five aspects: weight-bearing on the paretic limb; ability to move the paretic limb; confidence; safety; and walking style. Possible answers were "improved," "unchanged," or "decreased." RESULTS: Fourteen individuals used canes and nine used elbow crutches; 21 (91.3%) used AWDs on public roads and only two (8.7%) used AWDs at home. The perception regarding the use of AWDs were positive in the first four questions (6.87 < χ2 < 29.83; 0.0001 < P < 0.03), with reports of improvement in weight-bearing (82.6%), ability to move the paretic limb (39.1%), confidence (82.6%), and safety (86.9%). No significant differences were found in terms of walking style (χ2 = 1.09; P = 0.30). CONCLUSIONS: The perception of chronic hemiplegic subjects regarding the use of AWD were positive, suggesting that these devices can improve mobility and independence in activities of daily living.

Keywords : Stroke; gait; cane; patient satisfaction.

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