Assessing walking disability in multiple sclerosis

Mult Scler. 2012 Jul;18(7):914-24. doi: 10.1177/1352458512444498. Epub 2012 Apr 24.


Most patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) eventually experience walking disability. The objective of this review was to evaluate the clinical utility of measures specific for walking in MS. Walking assessments had high reliability and were correlated with related measures, including the 12-item multiple sclerosis walking scale (MSWS-12). Shorter timed walking tests (Timed 25-foot Walk (T25FW), 10-metre Timed Walk, 30-metre Timed Walk) measure overall walking disability and are best suited for clinical settings, whereas longer timed or distance tests (100-metre Timed Walk, 6-minute Walk Test, 2-minute Walk Test) are better for the assessment of walking fatigability, distance limitations and functional capacity. The MSWS-12 measures different, but related, aspects of walking than the objective tests. The T25FW is the best characterised objective measure of walking disability and can be used across a wide range of walking disabilities. Additional work is needed to fully characterise the other objective walking assessments in MS.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Disability Evaluation*
  • Humans
  • Mobility Limitation*
  • Multiple Sclerosis / complications*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Walking*