Content » Vol 43, Issue 1

Original report

Foot impairments and limitations in walking activities in people affected by leprosy

Frederik J. Slim , Renske Keukenkamp, Carine H. van Schie, William R. Faber, Frans Nollet
DOI: 10.2340/16501977-0625


Objective: To explore the relationships between perceived limitations in walking-related daily activities, walking ability (capacity), and the amount of daily walking (performance) in persons affected by leprosy and to identify their determinants.
Design: A cross-sectional study.
Subjects: Thirty-nine persons affected by leprosy.
Methods: Perceived limitations were assessed with the World Health Organization Disability Schedule II, domain “getting around”. Walking capacity was assessed as covered distance
in 6 min. Walking performance was recorded as mean strides/day with the StepwatchTM 3 Activity Monitor. Potential determinants were sensory function, foot deformities, joint mobility, ankle muscle strength and co-morbidity.
Results: Perceived limitations in walking-related activities were significantly correlated with walking capacity (r = –0. 47; p < 0. 01) but not with walking performance, although walking capacity significantly correlated with walking performance (r = 0. 38; p < 0. 05). Various foot impairments independently contributed to reduced walking capacity and, to a lower degree, to perceived limitations in activities and performance.
Conclusion: People affected by leprosy perceive limitations in walking-related activities that are determined by a reduced walking ability and the severity of foot impairments. Since perceived limitations in walking-related activities were not related to walking performance, perceived limitations are apparently weighted against the individual’s needs.

Lay Abstract


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