Reliability of the non-instrumented walk test in persons with Parkinson's disease

Disabil Rehabil. 2013 Apr;35(7):538-42. doi: 10.3109/09638288.2012.709910. Epub 2012 Aug 14.


Purpose: To study the reliability of a Non-Instrumented Walk Test in individuals with Parkinson's disease (PD).

Method: Thirty individuals (21 Males) with PD were studied. Their mean age was 68.90 ± 9.28 years. The average time since diagnosis was 8.75 ± 5.68 years. The reliability of the manual Non-Instrumented Walk Test was studied while "OFF" and "ON" dopaminergic medication. Subjects walked at their self-selected, usual speed during a Non-Instrumented Walk Test and while walking on a computerized instrumented walkway. Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) were calculated and means were compared for three gait parameters as measured by the two methods.

Results: During "OFF" medication testing, ICCs between the Non-Instrumented Walk Test and the instrumented measures for gait speed, cadence and stride length were 0.96 (p < 0.0005), 0.72 (p = 0.001) and 0.97 (p < 0.0005), respectively. During "ON" medication testing, the ICCs were 0.96 (p < 0.0005), 0.86 (p < 0.0005) and 0.96 (p < 0.0005), respectively. The means of the non-instrumented measures tended to be lower than those obtained on the instrumented walkway.

Conclusions: The Non-Instrumented Walk Test is a quick, simple and inexpensive gait evaluation for individuals with PD. The method is sufficiently reliable to be used clinically in this population during different medication cycles.

Implications for rehabilitation: • The Non-Instrumented Walk Test in individuals with PD is reliable. • Results supported the use of the measure. This simple walk test is quick and easy to administer in both clinical and community settings.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antiparkinson Agents / therapeutic use
  • Dopamine Agents / therapeutic use
  • Exercise Test / methods*
  • Female
  • Gait / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Levodopa / therapeutic use
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Movement / physiology*
  • Parkinson Disease / complications*
  • Parkinson Disease / drug therapy
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Walking / physiology*


  • Antiparkinson Agents
  • Dopamine Agents
  • Levodopa