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.
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.
Walking speed over a short distance has a significant impact on activities of daily living for
patients with MS.
The conclusions say it all!