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Comparative Study
, 15 (4), 415-21

Walking Speed Over 10 Metres Overestimates Locomotor Capacity After Stroke

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Comparative Study

Walking Speed Over 10 Metres Overestimates Locomotor Capacity After Stroke

C M Dean et al. Clin Rehabil.

Abstract

Objective: To examine 10-m comfortable walking speed and 6-minute distance in healthy individuals and individuals after stroke and to assess the level of disability associated with poor walking endurance after stroke.

Design: Descriptive study in which comfortable walking speed over 10 m and distance covered in 6 minutes (6-minute walk test) were compared between healthy subjects and subjects after stroke.

Subjects: Twelve healthy subjects and 14 subjects after stroke.

Main outcome measures: Walking speed and 6-minute distances were compared between groups. In addition, for each group, actual distance walked in 6 minutes was compared with the distance predicted by the 10-m walking speed test and the distance predicted by normative reference equations.

Results: Subjects after stroke had significant reductions in 10-m speed and 6-minute distance compared with healthy subjects (p < 0.05). Subjects after stroke were not able to maintain their comfortable walking speed for 6 minutes, whereas healthy subjects walked in excess of their comfortable speed for 6 minutes. The average distance walked in 6 minutes by individuals after stroke was only 49.8+/-23.9% of the distance predicted for healthy individuals with similar physical characteristics.

Conclusion: In our subjects after stroke, walking speed over a short distance overestimated the distance walked in 6 minutes. Both walking speed and endurance need to be measured and trained during rehabilitation.

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