Walking performance: correlation between energy cost of walking and walking participation. new statistical approach concerning outcome measurement

PLoS One. 2013;8(2):e56669. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0056669. Epub 2013 Feb 28.


Walking ability, though important for quality of life and participation in social and economic activities, can be adversely affected by neurological disorders, such as Spinal Cord Injury, Stroke, Multiple Sclerosis or Traumatic Brain Injury. The aim of this study is to evaluate if the energy cost of walking (CW), in a mixed group of chronic patients with neurological diseases almost 6 months after discharge from rehabilitation wards, can predict the walking performance and any walking restriction on community activities, as indicated by Walking Handicap Scale categories (WHS). One hundred and seven subjects were included in the study, 31 suffering from Stroke, 26 from Spinal Cord Injury and 50 from Multiple Sclerosis. The multivariable binary logistical regression analysis has produced a statistical model with good characteristics of fit and good predictability. This model generated a cut-off value of.40, which enabled us to classify correctly the cases with a percentage of 85.0%. Our research reveal that, in our subjects, CW is the only predictor of the walking performance of in the community, to be compared with the score of WHS. We have been also identifying a cut-off value of CW cost, which makes a distinction between those who can walk in the community and those who cannot do it. In particular, these values could be used to predict the ability to walk in the community when discharged from the rehabilitation units, and to adjust the rehabilitative treatment to improve the performance.

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Energy Metabolism*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Biological
  • Nervous System Diseases / metabolism
  • Quality of Life
  • Reference Values
  • Walking*
  • Young Adult

Grant support

The authors have no support or funding to report.