COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) is a lung disease which restricts airflow and makes breathing difficult. According to the CDC, it affects 4 to 9% of US adults.
The study looked at 15 COPD patients. Each was required to take three outdoor walking tests over two days. The first test was the control. In it, patients were unaided by rollators or any other mobility device. In the subsequent two tests, patients either used a rollator or a draisine, a bicycle like device.
The study found that rollators helped the COPD patient’s performance, and draisines actually lowered it. With a draisine, patients walked for an average of under 8 minutes and covered a mere 641 yards. Unaided, patients walked for an average of 14 and a half minutes and covered 1,077 yards. And with the rollator, patients walked for 19 minutes and covered 1,380 yards.
Plus, rollators scored the highest in terms of comfort, safety, and security for patients.
“We have shown that the use of a rollator can be beneficial for patients with moderate and advanced COPD,” said Dr. Anouk Vaes, the study’s lead author. “However, not all patients benefit[ed] from its use. Therefore, we believe that the needs, daily use, and degree of acceptance by the patients with COPD should be considered for selection of a walking aid.”