Evaluation of a new device to prevent falls in persons with Parkinson's disease

Mon S. Bryant, Diana H. Rintala, Eugene C. Lai, Mary L. Raines, Elizabeth J. Protas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Purpose. To compare walking characteristics of individuals with Parkinson's disease PD using a new walking aid, the WalkAbout, with usual walking. Method. Fifteen subjects with PD were recruited. Subjects walked in their usual fashion and then walked again in the WalkAbout. Gait parameters, 5-min walk, and oxygen consumption were recorded. Results. Stride lengths were shorter when using the WalkAbout. On an average, the distance walked in 5 min and the oxygen uptake was not different when walking with the WalkAbout compared with the usual walk. Eight subjects responders walked further with the WalkAbout compared to their usual walk (164.90 ± 55.72 m vs. 140.82 ± 55.94 m). Seven subjects non-responders walked a shorter distance while using the WalkAbout compared to their usual walk (241.79 ± 73.06 m vs. 281.24 ± 82.83 m). Compared to non-responders, responders were older, had more severe disability, and were more likely to use an assistive device for walking. Responders walked more slowly, had a shorter stride length, and walked shorter distances in 5 min than non-responders. Conclusion. The WalkAbout may help persons with PD who have more severe disability to walk farther. These data could be beneficial in selecting a helpful walking aid for persons with PD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)357-363
Number of pages7
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2009


  • 5-minute walk
  • Gait
  • Parkinson's disease
  • WalkAbout
  • Walking aid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Speech and Hearing
  • Rehabilitation


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