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What's the best walking aid for patients with COPD?

Wiley

In a first-of-its-kind study, researchers have investigated the impact of different walking aids on patients with chronic obstructive disease (COPD).

Walking with the help of a rollator (a frame with wheels, handlebars, and a built-in seat) resulted in the longest distance walked and most time spent walking. The use of walking with assistance of a draisine (a bicycle without pedals) improved walking speed with fewer strides but did not improve the time spent walking by COPD patients to cover a longer distance. "Patients with COPD walked significantly further and longer during unaided walking compared with draisine-aided walking," said Dr. Anouk Vaes, lead author of the Respirology study.

The findings suggest that a rollator improves walking in patients with COPD, whereas a draisine has detrimental effects compared with unaided walking.

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