RELIABILITY OF GAIT PERFORMANCE TESTS IN MEN AND WOMEN WITH HEMIPARESIS AFTER STROKE
Ulla-Britt Flansbjer A1 A2, Anna Maria Holmbäck A3, David Downham A4, Carolynn Patten A5 A6, Jan Lexell A1 A2 A7
A1 Department of Rehabilitation Lund University Hospital Lund Sweden
A2 Department of Community Medicine Lund University Malmö Sweden
A3 Department of Physical Therapy Lund University Hospital Lund Sweden
A4 Department of Mathematical Sciences University of Liverpool Liverpool UK
A5 Rehabilitation Research & Development Center/153 VA Palo Alto Health Care System Palo Alto CA USA
A6 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery Stanford University School of Medicine Stanford CA USA
A7 Department of Health Sciences Luleå University of Technology Boden Sweden
Objective: To assess the reliability of 6 gait performance tests in individuals with chronic mild to moderate post-stroke hemiparesis. Design: An intra-rater (between occasions) test-retest reliability study. Subjects: Fifty men and women (mean age 58±6. 4 years) 6-46 months post-stroke. Methods: The Timed "Up & Go" test, the Comfortable and the Fast Gait Speed tests, the Stair Climbing ascend and descend tests and the 6-Minute Walk test were assessed 7 days apart. Reliability was evaluated with the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC 2,1 ), the Bland & Altman analysis, the standard error of measurement (SEM and SEM%) and the smallest real difference (SRD and SRD%). Results: Test-retest agreements were high (ICC 2,1 0. 94-0. 99) with no discernible systematic differences between the tests. The standard error of measurement (SEM%), representing the smallest change that indicates a real (clinical) improvement for a group of individuals, was small (<9%). The smallest real difference (SRD%), representing the smallest change that indicates a real (clinical) improvement for a single individual, was also small (13-23%). Conclusion: These commonly used gait performance tests are highly reliable and can be recommended to evaluate improvements in various aspects of gait performance in individuals with chronic mild to moderate hemiparesis after stroke.
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