A survey of nurses, physiotherapists and occupational therapists in mobility care and gait aid use for hospital patients with dementia

Den Ching A. Lee, Claudia Meyer, Elissa Burton, Su Kitchen, Cylie Williams, Susan W. Hunter, Plaiwan Suttanon, Keith D. Hill

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2 Citations (Scopus)


This study described mobility care practice of nurses, physiotherapists and occupational therapists and gait aid use for hospital patients with dementia. Two surveys, tailored to staff mobility care roles were distributed in Australian hospitals. Physiotherapists and occupational therapists were asked additional questions regarding assessments and factors for prescribing gait aids to patients with dementia. Descriptive statistics for closed-ended and summative content analyses for open-ended questions were undertaken. Nurses (n=56), physiotherapists (n=11) and occupational therapists (n=23) used various practices to ensure ambulation safety for patients with dementia. Nurses and occupational therapists commonly referred patients with dementia to physiotherapists for mobility and gait aid assessments. Therapists predominantly considered the severity of dementia, the person's learning ability and mobility history in deciding about gait aid use. Exploring ways to strengthen nursing and health professional education, and inter-professional practice for safe mobility in patients with dementia, with and without gait aids, could be helpful.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-228
Number of pages8
JournalGeriatric Nursing
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022


  • Dementia
  • Gait aid
  • Hospital
  • Mobility
  • Nurses
  • Occupational therapists
  • Physiotherapists

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