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EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL AND REHABILITATION MEDICINE
Rivista di Medicina Fisica e Riabilitativa dopo Eventi Patologici
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Indexed/Abstracted in: CINAHL, Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
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European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine 2009 September;45(3):341-7
Sagittal plane kinematic analysis of the six-minute walk test: a classification of hemiplegic gait
Straudi S. 1, Manca M. 2, Aiello E. 3, Ferraresi G. 2, Cavazza S. 2, Basaglia N. 2
1 Scuola di Specializzazione in Medicina Fisica e Riabilitativa, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy
2 Motion Analysis Laboratory, S. Giorgio Hospital, Ferrara, Italy
3 Motion Analysis laboratory, S. Maria Bambina Hospital, Oristano, Italy
Aim. The aim of this study was to propose a kinematic classification of gait according to six minute walk test performance.
Methods. Thirty-four hemiplegic subjects were enrolled. Six-minute walk test (SMWT), gait analysis and Walking Handicap Scale score (WHS) were measured. A k-means cluster analysis was used to classify the sample into three sub-groups which were homogeneous in spatio-temporal parameters, kinematic variables, and which reflected three meaningful levels of walking competency.
Results. Three clusters were identified: low-functioning walkers (Cluster 1) walked for 88-172 m; intermediate-functioning walkers (Cluster 2) walked for 180-302 m and high-functioning walkers (Cluster 3) were able to cover 349-430 m. The authors found homogeneous gait profiles in these subgroups. Between-group differences on kinematic data and WHS scores were also underlined.
Conclusion. Cluster analysis was able to identify consistent gait characteristics of spatio-temporal, walking endurance and sagittal plane kinematic profiles in hemiplegic subjects and is useful for categorizing the levels of walking competency in these subjects.