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Associations Between Self-Reported Symptoms and Gait Parameters Using In-Home Sensors in Persons With Multiple Sclerosis

Newland, Pamela, PhD, RN, CMSRN1; Salter, Amber, PhD2; Flach, Alicia, PT, DPT, NCS3; Flick, Louise, DrPH, MSN, MPE4; Thomas, Florian P., PhD, MD, MA5; Gulick, Elsie E., PhD, RN, FAAN6; Rantz, Marilyn, PhD, RN, FAAN7; Skubic, Marjorie, PhD8

doi: 10.1097/rnj.0000000000000210
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Background and Purpose Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a progressive neurological disorder, characterized by exacerbations and remissions, often resulting in disability affecting multiple neurological functions. The purpose of this article was (1) to describe the frequencies of self-reported symptoms in a natural environment and (2) to determine characteristics and associations between self-reported symptoms and home gait parameters (speed, stride time, and stride length) at baseline and at 3 months in patients with MS.

Methods Participants completed the self-report MS-Related Symptom Scale to measure symptoms. A three-dimensional depth imaging system (Foresite Healthcare) was used to measure gait parameters in the home environment.

Results These data show significant correlations between the following symptoms: knee locking or collapsing, difficulty sleeping, depression, and anxiety with decreased number of average walks per day; however, the symptoms including trouble-making toilet: day and difficulty in starting urine were positively correlated with average walks per day. The symptom numbness was significantly correlated with decreased speed and decreased stride length.

Discussion and Conclusions Our findings suggest that certain groups of symptoms were more frequently reported with certain gait parameters (stride time/speed) in persons with MS. Rehabilitation nurses can provide optimal care to prevent future decline in symptoms and gait.

1 Barnes Jewish College Goldfarb School of Nursing, St Louis, MO, USA

2 Division of Biostatistics, Washington University, St Louis, MO, USA

3 Department of Physical Therapy and Athletic Training, Saint Louis University, St. Louis, MO, USA

4 Saint Louis University, St. Louis, MO, USA

5 Multiple Sclerosis Center, Department of Neurology and Neuroscience Institute, Hackensack University Medical Center and Seton Hall-Hackensack-Meridian School of Medicine, Hackensack, NJ, USA

6 College of Nursing, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ, USA

7 Sinclair School of Nursing, University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, MO, USA

8 Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department, University of Missouri Columbia-Columbia, Columbia, MO, USA

Correspondence: Pamela Newland, Barnes Jewish College Goldfarb School of Nursing, St Louis, MO. E-mail:

Cite this article as: Newland, P. c., Salter, A., Flach, A., Flick L., Thomas, F. P., Gulick, E. E., Rantz, M., … Skubic, M. (2019). Associations between self-reported symptoms and gait parameters using in-home sensors in persons withmultiple sclerosis. Rehabilitation Nursing, 00(0), 00–00. doi: 10.1097/rnj.0000000000000210

© 2019 Association of Rehabilitation Nurses.
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