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Phys Ther. 2011 Jan;91(1):114-21. doi: 10.2522/ptj.20090126. Epub 2010 Oct 14.

Minimal detectable change of the timed "up & go" test and the dynamic gait index in people with Parkinson disease.

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School of Occupational Therapy, College of Medicine, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan.

Erratum in

  • Phys Ther. 2014 Jul;94(7):1056.



The minimal detectable change (MDC) is the smallest amount of difference in individual scores that represents true change (beyond random measurement error). The MDCs of the Timed "Up & Go" Test (TUG) and the Dynamic Gait Index (DGI) in people with Parkinson disease (PD) are largely unknown, limiting the interpretability of the change scores of both measures.


The purpose of this study was to estimate the MDCs of the TUG and the DGI in people with PD.


This investigation was a prospective cohort study.


Seventy-two participants were recruited from special clinics for movement disorders at a university hospital. Their mean age was 67.5 years, and 61% were men. All participants completed the TUG and the DGI assessments twice, about 14 days apart. The MDC was calculated from the standard error of measurement. The percentage MDC (MDC%) was calculated as the MDC divided by the mean of all scores for the sample. Furthermore, the intraclass correlation coefficient was used to examine the reproducibility between testing sessions (test-retest reliability).


The respective MDC and MDC% of the TUG were 3.5 seconds and 29.8, and those of the DGI were 2.9 points and 13.3. The test-retest reliability values for the TUG and the DGI were high; the intraclass correlation coefficients were .80 and .84, respectively.


The study sample was a convenience sample, and the participants had mild to moderately severe PD.


The results showed that the TUG and the DGI have generally acceptable random measurement error and test-retest reliability. These findings should help clinicians and researchers determine whether a change in an individual patient with PD is a true change.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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