Between-Day Reliability of the Gait Characteristics and Their Changes During the 6-Minute Walking Test in People With Multiple Sclerosis

Felipe Balistieri Santinelli*, Cintia Ramari, Marie Poncelet, Deborah Severijns, Daphne Kos, Massimiliano Pau, Alon Kalron, Pieter Meyns, Peter Feys

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Gait characteristics and their changes during the 6-minute walking test (6MWT) in people with multiple sclerosis (pwMS) have been described in the literature, which one may refer to as walking fatigability in the body function level of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health. However, whether these metrics are reliable is unknown. Objective: To investigate the between-day reliability of the gait characteristics and their changes in pwMS and healthy controls (HCs). Methods: Forty-nine pwMS (EDSS 4.82 ± 1.22 and 54.7 ± 9.36 years) and 23 HCs (50.6 ± 6.1 years) performed the 6MWT, as fast as possible but safely while wearing Inertial Measurement Units. Gait characteristics were measured in the pace, rhythm, variability, asymmetry, kinematics, coordination, and postural control domains and were obtained in intervals of 1 minute during the 6MWT. In addition, gait characteristics change in the last minute compared with the first minute were calculated for all gait variables using a fatigability index (ie, distance walking index). The intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC), Bland–Altman Plots, and Standard error of measurement were applied to investigate reliability. Results: Reliability of gait characteristics, minute-by-minute, and for their changes (ie, using the fatigability index) ranged from poor to excellent (pwMS: ICC 0.46-0.96; HC: ICC 0.09-0.97 and pwMS: ICC 0-0.72; HC: ICC 0-0.77, respectively). Conclusion: Besides coordination, at least 1 variable of each gait domain showed an ICC of moderate or good reliability for gait characteristics changes in both pwMS and HC. These metrics can be incorporated into future clinical trials and research on walking fatigability. Clinical Trial Registration: NCT05412043.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-86
Number of pages12
JournalNeurorehabilitation and Neural Repair
Volume38
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2024

Funding

FundersFunder number
King Beaudouin foundation
MS LIGA Flanders
Fonds Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek11O5823N
Fonds Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek
Vlaamse regering

    Keywords

    • day-to-day variability
    • fatigue
    • gait
    • multiple sclerosis
    • psychometrics
    • walking

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