In children with cerebral palsy (CP), gait impairment has a moderate relationship with daily step count and high daily activity levels, according to research from the University of Auckland in New Zealand.
The investigators evaluated 55 children with CP (age range 6-18 years) using the gait deviation index (GDI, a score of gait pathology derived from 3D gait analysis), two days of accelerometer data, and two clinic-based measures of walking capacity, the six-minute walk test (6MWT) and walking speed.
Investigators found a moderate correlation between GDI and average daily step count, with up to a third of the variation in daily step count related to changes in the GDI, which wasn’t correlated with low stepping activity time but did have a moderate association with high stepping activity time (>42 steps/min). They found lower associations between GDI and 6MWT and walking speed.
The findings, which were epublished June 25 by the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, suggest that interventions that improve gait kinematics may improve children’s community walking ability, the authors wrote.
Wilson NC, Signal N, Naude Y, et al. Gait deviation index correlates with daily step activity in children with cerebral palsy. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 2015 Jun 25. [Epub ahead of print]