Cane Use in Patients with Parkinson’s Disease

Esra Dogru Huzmeli and Esra Okuyucu


Introduction: Previous studies have primarily focused on whether there were any differences between walking with and without a cane. A small amount of studies examined properties of the canes used for patients with Parkinson’s Disease (PD). The purpose of the present study was to examine properties of the canes that patients with PD use, to decide whether PD patients chose the right cane for themselves and to describe the properties of the used cane by PD patients.
Materials and Methods: People diagnosed with PD who used a cane were included in the study. The actual and ideal lengths of the canes were measured for each individual. The type of cane, material and effect on walking and falling were investigated. A modified Hoehn and Yahr Scale was used to describe the symptom progression of PD. Falling risk was examined using the Functional Reach Test and the Pull Test.
Results: Ten subjects (8 male and 2 female) were included in the study. Their mean age was 70.0 ± 13.0 years (range: 48-84). Seven of the subjects reported that their walking was improved with a cane. Most of the patients (n = 9) decided to use cane by themselves. There was not a significant difference between the ideal and the actual cane length.
Discussion: This study identified positive results for the use of a cane to reduce the risk of falling and to improve walking. Participants decided mostly by themselves to use a cane, and they were able to choose an optimal cane length; however, they were not satisfied with cane usage.
Conclusion: Patients with PD felt they needed an assistive device, so health professionals should consider this option. Health professionals should assist the patients with deciding which cane was the best fit. Only patients who needed external support should use assistive devices.

Published on: June 04, 2018
doi: 10.17756/jnen.2018-033
Citation: Huzmeli ED, Okuyucu E. 2018. Cane Use in Patients with Parkinson’s Disease. J Neurol Exp Neurosci 4(1): 7-10.