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Phys Ther. 2012 Feb;92(2):318-28. doi: 10.2522/ptj.20110053. Epub 2011 Nov 10.

The modified Gait Efficacy Scale: establishing the psychometric properties in older adults.

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Department of Physical Therapy, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15260, USA.



Perceived ability or confidence plays an important role in determining function and behavior. The modified Gait Efficacy Scale (mGES) is a 10-item self-report measure used to assess walking confidence under challenging everyday circumstances.


The purpose of this study was to determine the reliability, internal consistency, and validity of the mGES as a measure of gait in older adults.


This was a cross-sectional study.


Participants were 102 community-dwelling older adults (mean [±SD] age=78.6±6.1 years) who were independent in ambulation with or without an assistive device. Participants were assessed using the mGES and measures of confidence and fear, measures of function and disability, and performance-based measures of mobility. In a subsample (n=26), the mGES was administered twice within a 1-month period to establish test-retest reliability through the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC [2,1]). The standard error of measure (SEM) was determined from the ICC and standard deviation. The Cronbach α value was calculated to determine internal consistency. To establish the validity of the mGES, the Spearman rank order correlation coefficient was used to examine the association with measures of confidence, fear, gait, and physical function and disability.


The mGES demonstrated test-retest reliability within the 1-month period (ICC=.93, 95% confidence interval=.85, .97). The SEM of the mGES was 5.23. The mGES was internally consistent across the 10 items (Cronbach α=.94). The mGES was related to measures of confidence and fear (r=.54-.88), function and disability (Late-Life Function and Disability Instrument, r=.32-.88), and performance-based mobility (r=.38-.64).


This study examined only community-dwelling older adults. The results, therefore, should not be generalized to other patient populations.


The mGES is a reliable and valid measure of confidence in walking among community-dwelling older adults.

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