Determining progress in gait requires a reliable method. However, achieving standard assessment results in the clinical setting can be challenging. Searching for a reliable tool, we tested OptoGait, a tool that has floor-level, high-density photoelectric cells that can be used to determine patterns of spatial-temporal gait on the basis of 19 variables: step length, stride length, distance, total contact time, step time, walking speed, acceleration, progressive step time, cadence, gait cycle, stance phase, swing phase, heel contact phase, flatfoot phase, takeoff phase, single limb support, double limb support, load response phase, and pre-swing phase. The gait of 126 study participants (41 males, 85 females; 27.37±1.77 years) was assessed twice for each participant during 10 episodes of walking on a 10m walkway each 2 weeks apart. Intra-session and inter-session results were compared using data for each foot alone as well as both feet together. All variables resulted in a high consistency except for acceleration. The intra-session data showed substantial agreement; the intra-class correlation coefficient (ICC) ranged from 0.72-0.78 in the heel contact phase, 0.72-0.76 in the load response phase, and 0.76-0.85 in the pre-swing phase and a low SEM. The inter-session data for each foot alone and both feet together showed substantial agreement (0.77-0.79 in the load response phase) and slight agreement for acceleration (0.06-0.22) with a low SEM. Based on these results, we conclude that the OptoGait system can be used with confidence to evaluate spatial-temporal gait except for acceleration and progressive step time assessment.
Keywords: Analysis; Floor-based photocells; Gait; Measurement; Reliability.
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