Content » Vol 23, Issue 3

The kinematics of idiopathic gait disorder. A comparison with healthy young and elderly females

Wall JC, Hogan DB, Turnbull GI, Fox RA.
School of Physiotherapy, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
DOI: 10.1080/165019779123159164


In this study the kinematic gait parameters of healthy young and elderly subjects were compared with those of a group of patients with idiopathic gait disorder of the elderly (IGDE), a condition characterized by dysfunctional walking for which no underlying cause can be determined. The velocity and the temporal/distance gait kinematics were measured for self-selected fast, medium and slow speeds of walking. The elderly walk with a more cautious gait pattern than younger adults. This pattern is characterized by a slow walking speed and a reduced single support phase, with shorter but more frequent strides, and is even more marked in persons with IGDE. The slower the walking speed the more cautious this pattern becomes. The patients with IGDE not only walk far slower than a group of healthy age matched individuals but the range of speeds, from self-selected slow to fast, is much reduced and does not overlap that of the healthy elderly. With objective gait measurements this group might be better identified.

Lay Abstract


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