Content » Vol 37, Issue 3

Walking in postpoliomyelitis syndrome: The relationships between time‐scored tests, walking in daily life and perceived mobility problems

Herwin L. D. Horemans A1, A2, Johannes B. J. Bussmann A2, Anita Beelen A3, Henk J. Stam A2, Frans Nollet A3
A1 Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam
A2 Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam
A3 Department of Rehabilitation, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

DOI: 10.1080/16501970410021526


Objective: To compare walking test results with walking in daily life, and to investigate the relationships between walking tests, walking activity in daily life, and perceived mobility problems in patients with post-poliomyelitis syndrome. Subjects: Twenty-four ambulant patients with post-poliomyelitis syndrome. Methods: Walking tests were performed at self-preferred and maximal speed. Walking activity was measured with an ambulatory activity monitor. Heart rate, step cadence and walking speed in the test and in daily life were compared. Walking speed in daily life was represented by the intensity of walking. Perceived mobility problems were assessed with the Nottingham Health Profile. Results: Heart rate during walking was lower in the test at self-preferred speed than in daily life (mean difference: 11. 3±10. 4; p =0. 001). Self-preferred walking speed in the test and in daily life correlated significantly (r =0. 55; p= 0. 04). In a sub-group with a test performance below the median value, test performance correlated significantly with walking activity. No significant correlation was found between perceived mobility problems and walking activity. Conclusion: Walking in daily life may be more demanding than walking under standardized conditions. Patients with post-poliomyelitis syndrome with the lowest test performance walked less in daily life. Patients do not necessarily match their activity pattern to their perceived mobility problems.

Lay Abstract


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