Objective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the influence of rollator use on health-related quality of life in patients with COPD.
Design: Randomized controlled trial.
Methods: Thirty-one postrehabilitation patients with COPD were randomized to receive a rollator (n = 18) or usual care (n = 13) for 8 weeks and to record the frequency of rollator use. Outcome measures at baseline, 4 weeks, and 8 weeks included the Chronic Respiratory Questionnaire (CRQ) and the 6-min walk (6MW).
Results: During acute testing, subjects consistently walked further when assisted (baseline 6MW: 292 ± 67 m vs 263 ± 67 m; 8 weeks: 283 ± 65 m vs 259 ± 68 m [±SD]; p = 0.013). However, provision of a rollator at home was not associated with group differences in the CRQ (p > 0.08) or in the unassisted 6MW (p = 0.4) or the assisted 6MW (p = 0.5). Eight of 18 subjects assigned to the rollator group used the rollator less than three times per week. Regular users demonstrated a consistent improvement in mastery compared with infrequent users (4 weeks: 4.7 ± 0.6 vs 5.2 ± 0.8, respectively; 8 weeks: 5.3 ± 0.8 vs 4.7 ± 0.4; p = 0.014).
Conclusions: Despite evidence of effectiveness during acute testing, this study did not demonstrate a rollator effect on quality of life or exercise capacity when the rollator was provided at home, for a longer period. Actual use of a rollator may be an important determinant of its effect. Therefore, when prescribing a rollator, health-care professionals should attempt to identify those most likely to use it.