Is There a Role for Gait Belts in Safe Patient Handling and Movement Programs?

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One time download – from March 2011 issue

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Abstract

Gait belts, sometimes referred to as transfer or walking belts, are commonly used by health care providers to assist patients with mobility tasks, such as transfers or ambulation. There has been a long-held belief that the use of gait belts improves safety for both patients and caregivers; however, this is largely based on tradition and anecdotal opinion. There is minimal research directly addressing such use to assist in making evidence-based decisions about the appropriate use of the devices in current practice. This article was written to explore the context of and evidence for gait belt use by nurses and therapists in an environment of safe patient handling and movement. The recommendations of this review suggest that gait belts have a limited role in safe patient handling and movement programs.

Rockefeller K, Proctor RB

Keywords: gait belts, transfer belts, safe patient handling