Reliability of the parallel walk test for the elderly

S. D. Lark, P. W. McCarthy, D. A. Rowe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

To determine interrater agreement and test-retest reliability of the parallel walk test (PWT), a simple method of measuring dynamic balance in the elderly during gait.
Elderly fallers (N=34; mean ± SD age, 81.3±5.4y) registered at a falls clinic participated in this study based on Mini-Mental State Examination and Barthel Index scores. Subjects were timed as they walked 6m between 2 parallel lines on the floor at 3 different widths (20, 30.5, 38cm) wearing their own footwear. They were scored for foot placement on (1 point) or outside the lines (2 points) by 2 separate raters. Fifteen subjects were retested 1 week later. Footfall score and time to complete the PWT. Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) and 95% limits of agreement were calculated for interrater and test-retest reliability. For widths of 20, 30.5, and 38cm, interrater reliability ICC range was .93 to .99 and test-retest ICC range was .63 to .90. The PWT was implemented easily by 2 raters with a high degree of interrater reliability. Test-retest reliability was not as high, possibly because of the high susceptibility of variation from 1 week to the next for frail elderly subjects. The 20- and 30.5-cm widths are recommended for future use of the PWT.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)812-817
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Volume92
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2011

Keywords

  • clinician
  • go test
  • validity
  • mobility
  • rehabilitation
  • reliability
  • aged
  • fall risk
  • performance
  • gait
  • balance

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