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Walking Speed in Children and Young Adults With Neuromuscular Disease: Comparison Between Two Assessment Methods

Pirpiris, M. M.B. B.S., B.Med.Sc., Grad.Dip.Epid.Biostat.*; Wilkinson, A. J. M.B. B.Ch., B.A.O.*; Rodda, J. B.App.Sc. (Physio)*; Nguyen, T. C. B.Sc., B.Eng. (Biomed)*; Baker, R. J. Ph.D.*†; Nattrass, G. R. M.D., F.R.C.S.(C), F.R.A.C.S.*; Graham, H. K. M.D., F.R.C.S.(Ed), F.R.A.C.S.*‡

Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics: May-June 2003 - Volume 23 - Issue 3 - p 302-307
Gait Analysis/Neuromuscular

Self-selected walking speed is being increasingly used as a primary outcome measure in the management of neuromuscular disease. It would be useful if the speed recorded in the gait laboratory represented the child's walking speed in the community. This study investigated the difference in self-selected walking speeds between a 10-meter walk, as measured during instrumented gait analysis, and a 10-minute walk. The authors found that self-selected walking speed during the 10-minute walk was slower than the self-selected walking speed recorded during the 10-meter walk. The former may be more representative of walking speed in the community setting. Walking speed measured during walks of 10 minutes or more should become an integral part of gait laboratory evaluation.

Study conducted at the Hugh Williamson Gait Analysis Laboratory, Royal Children's Hospital, Parkville, Victoria, Australia

From *Royal Children's Hospital, Parkville, Victoria, Australia; †University of Melbourne, Royal Children's Hospital, and La Trobe University, Melbourne; and ‡University of Melbourne, Royal Children's Hospital.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to H. K. Graham, M.D., F.R.C.S.(Ed), F.R.A.C.S., Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, Department of Orthopaedics, Royal Children's Hospital, Flemington Road, Parkville, Victoria 3052, Australia (e-mail:

None of the authors received financial support for this study.

© 2003 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins