The purpose of this study was to evaluate the test-retest reliability of an instrumented walkway system (the GAITRite mat) for the measurement of temporal and spatial parameters of gait in young and older people. Thirty young subjects (12 males, 18 females) aged between 22 and 40 years (mean 28.5, S.D. 4.8) and 31 older subjects (13 males, 18 females) aged between 76 and 87 years (mean 80.8, S.D. 3.1) walked at a self-selected comfortable walking speed across the pressure-sensor mat three times and repeated the process approximately 2 weeks later. Intra-class correlation coefficients (ICC), coefficients of variation (CV) and 95% limits of agreement were then determined. For both groups of subjects, the reliability of walking speed, cadence and step length was excellent (ICCs between 0.82 and 0.92 and CVs between 1.4 and 3.5%). Base of support and toe in/out angles, although exhibiting high ICCs, were associated with higher CVs (8.3-17.7% in young subjects and 14.3-33.0% in older subjects). It is concluded that the GAITRite mat exhibits excellent reliability for most temporo-spatial gait parameters in both young and older subjects, however, base of support and toe in/out angles need to viewed with some caution, particularly in older people.
Copyright 2003 Elsevier B.V.