PURPOSE: To investigate whether the acute benefits of rollator use are consistent over time in individuals with moderate to severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
METHODS: Thirty-one stable subjects with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (13 men, 18 women), aged 68 ± 8 years, with a forced expiratory volume in 1 second of 0.7 ± 0.2 L (33% ± 12% predicted) and a baseline 6-minute walk (6MW) of 261 ± 68 m, were recruited from a respiratory clinic after completion of a pulmonary rehabilitation program. Two 6MWs were performed at baseline, 4 weeks, and 8 weeks, one walking unaided and the other walking with the assistance of a rollator. The test order was randomly chosen at baseline, and the same test order was used at each time point. The primary outcome measures were distance walked in 6 minutes (meters), perceived dyspnea using a modified Borg scale, and number of rests taken.
RESULTS: Subjects achieved higher 6MW distances during assisted compared with unassisted walking at baseline (292 ± 67 vs 263 ± 67 m), 4 weeks (296 ± 62 vs 275 ± 63m), and 8 weeks (283 ± 65 vs 259 ± 68 m) (P = .013), with no time effect (P = .5). In addition, use of a rollator resulted in a significant improvement in dyspnea (P = .004) at baseline, 4 weeks, and 8 weeks, with no time effect (P = .7). The use of a rollator also reduced the number of rests taken during the 6MW (P < .001), with no time effect (P = .9).
CONCLUSIONS: Rollator use resulted in improvements in performance in the 6MW, which were consistent over time among individuals with moderate to severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease who walk less than 375 m during an unaided 6MW.
In individuals with moderate to severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, use of a rollator results in a consistent improvement in the distance walked during the 6-minute walk test, dyspnea, and the number of rests taken. These improvements were consistent over time.
From the Graduate Department of Rehabilitation Science (Ms Gupta and Dr Brooks), Departments of Physical Therapy (Dr Goldstein and Dr Brooks), and Medicine (Dr Goldstein), University of Toronto; West Park HealthCare Centre (Dr Goldstein and Dr Brooks), Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
This work was supported by West Park Healthcare Centre Foundation, Physicians' Services Incorporated, Ontario Respiratory Care Society, Shopper's Home Health Care. Dr Brooks was supported by a CIHR New Investigator Award.
Address correspondence to: Dina Brooks, PhD, Department of Physical Therapy, University of Toronto, 500 University Avenue, Room 160, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5G 1V7 (e-mail: email@example.com).