Thursday, 25 October 2012

Research: Walking Speed impacts activity

Yildiz M. The impact of slower walking speed on activities of daily living in patients with multiple sclerosis. Int J Clin Pract. 2012; 66:1088-94.

Aims:  To identify the relevance and impact of walking speed (WS) over a short distance on activities of daily living (ADLs) in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). 

Methods:  An internet-administered survey of MS patients in four countries was distributed to 605 individuals in 2010. Participants had MS for > 5 years and must have reported difficulty walking as a result of MS. The impact of MS on walking and the effects of WS on ADLs were assessed based upon responses (scored on a scale of 1-10) to five questions and categorised post hoc as: high (8-10), moderate (4-7) or low (1-3) impact/importance. 

Results:  Of the participants who completed the survey (n = 112), 60% were female patients, 63% were aged ≥ 45 years, and 55% had relapsing-remitting MS. Approximately, half of participants reported a high impact of MS on their general walking ability (46%) and their ability to increase WS over a short distance (55%). Up to 53% of participants reported avoiding ADLs because of concerns about WS; within this cohort, older male patients and patients with secondary-progressive MS were highly represented. 

Discussion:  These results, which highlight the importance of WS to patients with MS and emphasise the impact of WS on health-related quality of life and ADLs, underscore the importance of clinical measures of WS, such as the timed 25-foot walk, in assessing walking in MS patients. 

Conclusion:  Walking speed over a short distance has a significant impact on activities of daily living for patients with MS.

The conclusions say it all!


  1. Would physiotherapy to increase walking speed be an effective approach? The research mentions the importance of measuring walking speed clinically but a more proactive approach might be useful.

  2. No! You don't say!

    So much money wasted on reports of this nature. No wonder MS therapy is in such a poor state.

  3. Am I being thick? This study concludes that for MSers who've lost significant ability to walk or walk short distances at their "usual", pre-MS, clip that this change in ability negatively impacts their quality of life?

    I am checking because I've read the abstract a few times and keep searching for more substance.

    I'm pretty sure this study is not saying to "slow down". Am I correct?


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