Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Am Geriatr Soc. 1992 Mar;40(3):208-12.

A comparison of a two-wheeled walker and a three-wheeled walker in a geriatric population.

Author information

  • 1Geriatrics Section, William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital, Madison, Wisconsin 53705.



There are few data on the effect of walkers on gait and mobility or on comparisons of different walker types. We compared a commonly used 4-legged, 2-wheeled walker and a newer 3-legged, 3-wheeled walker in measures of gait, mobility, and patient satisfaction.


Cross-over controlled trial.


In the Physical Therapy Department of a Veterans Affairs hospital.


Subjects were 15 male and female frail elderly veterans (mean age, 82 years), both inpatients and outpatients, consecutively enrolled from a sample of 35 patients referred to the Physical Therapy Department for mobility problems. Subjects met the following criteria: age 65 or over, ambulatory, no prior use of a wheeled walker, stable medical condition, and informed consent.


Subjects were evaluated without either walker and with each of the two walkers on a 15-foot walkway and a 60-foot obstacle course. Subjects were asked which walker they preferred.


Outcome measures were stride length on the walkway, time on an obstacle course, and walker preference.


Stride length was 1.4 inches (3.6 cm) greater with the 3-wheeled walker than with the 2-wheeled walker (P = 0.016 by Wilcoxon signed-rank test). Time on the obstacle course was 16.0 seconds less with the 3-wheeled walker than the 2-wheeled walker (P = 0.002). The 3-wheeled walker was subjectively preferred.


The 3-wheeled walker appears to have a greater positive impact on gait and mobility than the 2-wheeled walker.

Comment in

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Wiley
    Loading ...
    Support Center