Sideways walk test: Reliability and association with lower limb motor function after stroke
Shamay S.M. Ng, Bobby K.C. Lau, Gilbert T.C. Law, Choco W.K. Wom, Tai-Wa Liu, Eric W.C. Tam, Mimi M.Y. Tse, Shirley S.M. Fong
Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong (SAR), China. E-mail: Shamay.Ng@polyu.edu.hk
Objectives: To investigate (i) the intra-rater, inter-rater and test-retest reliability of sideways walk test times and counts in individuals with stroke; (ii) their correlations with stroke-specific measures of impairment; (iii) the cut-off sideways walk test times and counts between stroke survivors and healthy controls; and (iv) the minimum detectable changes in the sideways walk test times and counts.
Design: Cross-sectional study.
Setting: University-based rehabilitation centre.
Subjects: Twenty-nine older adults with stroke and 32 healthy controls.
Methods: The sideways walk test was conducted together with Fugl-Meyer motor assessments of the lower extremities, lower limb muscle strength tests, the Five-Times-Sit-To-Stand test, Berg Balance Scale, Timed Up-and-Go test, and Activity-based Confidence and Community Integration Measure questionnaires.
Results: The sideways walk test times and counts demonstrated good to excellent intra-rater, inter-rater, and test-retest reliabilities. The sideways walk test times and counts were significantly correlated with motor control and ankle dorsiflexor and plantarflexor strength of the affected leg, balance performance and functional mobility. The cut-off sideways walk test time and count that best discriminated between individuals with stroke and controls were 10.74 s and 8.83 steps, respectively. The minimal detectable change in the sideways walk test time in that situation was 1.85 s, and the count minimum detectable change was 1.12 steps.
Conclusion: The sideways walk test is a reliable and easy-to-administer clinical test for assessing sideways walking ability of individuals with chronic stroke.
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