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January 2, 1967

Use and Abuse of Ambulation Aids

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Washington, School of Medicine, Seattle.

JAMA. 1967;199(1):5-10. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03120010049008

Because of the diversity of ambulation aids and gait patterns that are available, their prescription should be carefully thought out by the physician, taking into account the age and general condition of the patient as well as the specific disability. The aids chosen should be fitted to the patient by the physician or by a physical therapist, and the patient should receive instruction in their use, including climbing and descending stairs and techniques of sitting and arising. Preambulation exercises and training are often necessary for patients with severe disabilities. Patients should not be expected to learn safely and effectively to use ambulation aids without instruction.