This study investigated the reliability and validity of the Visual Gait Assessment Scale when used by experienced and inexperienced observers. Four experienced and six inexperienced observers viewed videotaped footage of four children with hemiplegic cerebral palsy on two separate occasions. Validity of the Scale was obtained by comparison with three-dimensional gait analysis (3DGA). The experienced observers generally had higher inter-observer and intra-observer reliability than the inexperienced observers. Both groups showed higher agreement for assessments made at the ankle and foot than at the knee and hip. The experienced observers had slightly higher agreement with 3DGA than the inexperienced observers. The inexperienced observers showed a learning effect and had higher inter-observer agreement and higher agreement with 3DGA in the second assessment of the videotapes. This scale can be used by inexperienced observers but is limited to observations in the sagittal plane and by poor reliability at the knee and hip for experienced and inexperienced observers.
- visual observation
- cerebral palsy