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Ann Rehabil Med. 2011 Jun;35(3):354-60. doi: 10.5535/arm.2011.35.3.354. Epub 2011 Jun 30.

Reliability of visual classification of sagittal gait patterns in patients with bilateral spastic cerebral palsy.

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Department of Rehabilitation Medicine and Research Institute, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul 120-752, Korea.



To investigate the reliability of inspection-based classification of sagittal gait patterns in children with bilateral spastic cerebral palsy (CP).


Video clip recordings of gait patterns and sagittal kinematic data obtained by a computerized motion analysis system from 91 patients with bilateral spastic CP were reviewed. The abnormal gait patterns were classified into 4 groups using the method described by Rodda et al. Visual observation-based classification (visual classification) was compared with classification by 3D analysis-based methods (3D classification). The reliabilities of visual classifications made by an experienced physician and a trainee physician were analyzed.


The consistency of inspection-based gait classification using kinematic data analysis was demonstrated by an experienced physician (Kappa coefficient (k)=0.67, p<0.001). However, the consistency was low for the trainee physician (k=0.37, p<0.001). Group III (apparent equinus) was commonly confused with group IV (crouch gait) by the trainee physician, resulting in lower agreement for those two evaluation groups than for other patterns. Video observation showed low reliability in comparisons made between the experienced and the trainee physician (k=0.37, p<0.001).


There was substantial agreement of gait classification between video observation and kinematic data analysis by the experienced physician, but not by the trainee physician. Low reliability was also demonstrated for inspection-based gait classification.


Gait; Observation; Reliability; Spastic diplegia

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