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Int J Clin Pract. 2012 Nov;66(11):1088-94. doi: 10.1111/ijcp.12003.

The impact of slower walking speed on activities of daily living in patients with multiple sclerosis.

Author information

  • Department of Neurology, Cantonal Hospital St. Gallen, St. Gallen, Switzerland. yildizmur@yahoo.com



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).


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.


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 ADLs for patients with MS.

© 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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