Presence of performance inconsistency during repeated assessments of gait may reflect underlying subclinical disease, and help shed light on the earliest stages of disablement. We studied inter-session fluctuations on three selected gait measures (velocity, stride length, and stride length variability) during normal pace walking as well as during a cognitively demanding 'walking while talking' condition using a repeated measurement burst design (six sessions within a 2-week period) in 71 nondisabled and nondemented community residing older adults, 40 with predisability (does activities of daily living unassisted but with difficulty). Subjects with predisability had slower gait velocity and shorter stride length on both the normal and walking while talking conditions at baseline compared to nondisabled subjects. However, there was no significant pattern of fluctuations across the six sessions on the three selected gait variables comparing the two groups during normal walking as well as on the walking while talking conditions. Our findings support consistency of gait measurements during the earliest stages of disability.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine