Daily steps, walking tests, and functioning in chronic stroke; comparing independent walkers to device-users

Chedva Levin, Yishai Bachar-Kirshenboim, Debbie Rand*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and Purpose: Community mobility post-stroke is important for gaining independence in daily activities. Walking devices can facilitate mobility, but it remains unclear whether individuals who use a walking device walk as many daily steps as those who do not require a device. It is also unclear whether these groups differ in their independence in daily living. This study aimed (1) to compare daily steps, walking tests, and independence in basic and instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) six months post-stroke between individuals who walk independently and individuals who use a walking device, (2) within each group to assess correlations between daily steps and walking tests, independence in basic and IADL. Methods: Thirty-seven community-dwelling individuals with chronic stroke; 22 participants used a walking-device and 15 participants walked independently. Daily steps were calculated as a 3-day mean by hip accelerometers. Clinical walking tests included the 10-m-walk-test, Timed Up & Go and ‘Walking While Talking’. Daily living was assessed using the Functional-Independence Measure and the IADL questionnaire. Results: Daily steps of the device-users were significantly lower than the independent-walkers (195–8068 versus 147-14010 steps/day) but independence in daily living was not significantly different. Different walking tests correlated with daily steps for device-users and independent-walkers. Conclusions: This preliminary investigation in chronic stroke revealed that device-users walk significantly fewer daily steps but are as independent in daily living as independent-walkers. Clinicians should differentiate between individuals with and without a walking device and the use of different clinical walking tests to explain daily steps should be considered. Further research is needed to assess the impact of a walking device post-stroke.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPhysiotherapy Research International
StateAccepted/In press - 2023


  • chronic stroke
  • community
  • independence in daily living
  • mobility
  • walking device


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