Associations Between Self-Reported Symptoms and Gait Parameters Using In-Home Sensors in Persons With Multiple Sclerosis

Rehabil Nurs. 2020 Mar/Apr;45(2):80-87. doi: 10.1097/rnj.0000000000000210.


Background and purpose: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a progressive neurological disorder, characterized by exacerbations and remissions, often resulting in disability affecting multiple neurological functions. The purpose of this article was (1) to describe the frequencies of self-reported symptoms in a natural environment and (2) to determine characteristics and associations between self-reported symptoms and home gait parameters (speed, stride time, and stride length) at baseline and at 3 months in patients with MS.

Methods: Participants completed the self-report MS-Related Symptom Scale to measure symptoms. A three-dimensional depth imaging system (Foresite Healthcare) was used to measure gait parameters in the home environment.

Results: These data show significant correlations between the following symptoms: knee locking or collapsing, difficulty sleeping, depression, and anxiety with decreased number of average walks per day; however, the symptoms including trouble-making toilet: day and difficulty in starting urine were positively correlated with average walks per day. The symptom numbness was significantly correlated with decreased speed and decreased stride length.

Discussion and conclusions: Our findings suggest that certain groups of symptoms were more frequently reported with certain gait parameters (stride time/speed) in persons with MS. Rehabilitation nurses can provide optimal care to prevent future decline in symptoms and gait.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Gait Analysis / methods*
  • Home Care Services / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Monitoring, Physiologic / methods*
  • Monitoring, Physiologic / trends
  • Multiple Sclerosis / classification
  • Multiple Sclerosis / complications*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Prospective Studies
  • Self Report / standards*
  • Self Report / statistics & numerical data