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The Timed Up and Go Test in Children

Does Protocol Choice Matter? A Systematic Review

Verbecque, Evi, PT, PhD; Schepens, Kirsten, MS; Theré, Joke, MS; Schepens, Bénédicte, PT, PhD; Klingels, Katrijn, PT, PhD; Hallemans, Ann, PhD

doi: 10.1097/PEP.0000000000000558

Purpose: Results on reliability and normative data for the Timed Up and Go test (TUG) in children who are developing typically are systematically reviewed.

Summary of Key Points: Six different TUG protocols are presented for which normative data are available for ages 3 to 18 years. TUG time is consistent within and between raters and sessions and is influenced by age. The choice of protocol, self-selected versus fastest walking speed, and use of a motivational aspect and of the outcome calculation affect TUG time as well as its consistency within and between sessions.

Conclusions: A standard protocol for the TUG is lacking and should be developed with attention to reliability.

Recommendations for Clinical Practice: If the TUG is to be used as a screening tool for dynamic balance control, clinicians need to apply protocols that include fastest walking speed motivation.

Results on reliability and normative data for the Timed Up and Go test in children who are are systematically reviewed.

Department of Rehabilitation Sciences and Physiotherapy (Drs Verbecque and Hallemans, Ms Schepens, and Mr Theré) and Multidisciplinary Motor Center Antwerp (Drs Verbecque and Hallemans), Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Antwerp, Belgium; Laboratory of Physiology and Biomechanics of Locomotion (Dr Schepens), Institute of Neuroscience, Université catholique de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium; Rehabilitation Research Center (Dr Klingels), Biomedical Research Institute, Hasselt University, Diepenbeek, Belgium; Department of Rehabilitation Sciences (Dr Klingels), KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.

Correspondence: Evi Verbecque, PT, PhD, Campus Drie Eiken, Universiteitsplein 1, 2610 Wilrijk (

Kirsten Schepens and Joke Theré completed this work when they were master's students in physical therapy in training at the University of Antwerp, Belgium; they have an academic bachelor's degree in physical therapy obtained at the University of Antwerp, Belgium.

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The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Copyright © 2019 Academy of Pediatric Physical Therapy of the American Physical Therapy Association