Original Research

Gait analysis - A comparison between observational analysis and temporal distance measurements

M. Riley, M. Goodman, V. U. Fritz
South African Journal of Physiotherapy | Vol 52, No 2 | a632 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajp.v52i2.632 | © 2018 M. Riley, M. Goodman, V. U. Fritz | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 20 September 2018 | Published: 31 May 1996

About the author(s)

M. Riley, Department of Physiotherapy, Johannesburg Hospital and University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
M. Goodman, Department of Physiotherapy, Johannesburg Hospital and University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
V. U. Fritz, Department of Neurology, University of Witwatersrand, South Africa

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The purpose of this study was to compare observational analysis of gait to six temporal distance measurements in order to rate the accuracy of the observational analysis.
Ten hemiparetic and ten parkinsonian patients were asked to walk along a paper walkway with ink pads attached to their normal footwear. Measurements of velocity, cadence, step length, stride length, base width and foot angle were taken.
Ten normal subjects were also evaluated on the paper walkway to give normal values as a baseline for comparison with the hemiparetic and parkinsonian patient’s measurements.
Observational analysis was recorded on a gait assessment form and a video recording was made of each patient. Comparison was made between the results recorded on the gait assessment form and the objective data.
Observational analysis was found to be fairly reliable for the assessment of some gait parameters but as no accurate data are produced it cannot be used to give scientific proof of the effectiveness of treatment.
Step length was the most difficult parameter to evaluate observationally in the hemiparetic patients, whereas cadence, foot angle and base width were the most difficult in the parkinsonian patients. As velocity was an easy value to record objectively it should be used in all gait assessments.


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