Minimal clinically important differences of spatiotemporal gait variables in Parkinson disease

Sidney T. Baudendistel, Allison M. Haussler, Kerri S. Rawson, Gammon M. Earhart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Assessment of gait function in People with Parkinson Disease (PwPD) is an important tool for monitoring disease progression in PD. While comprehensive gait analysis has become increasingly popular, only one study, Hass et al. (2014), has established minimal clinically important differences (MCID) for one spatiotemporal variable (velocity) in PwPD. Research Question: What are the MCIDs for velocity and additional spatiotemporal variables, including mean, variability, and asymmetry of step length, time, and width? Methods: As part of a larger clinic-based initiative, 382 medicated, ambulatory PwPD walked on an instrumented walkway during routine clinical visits. Distribution and anchor-based methods (Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale-III, Modified Hoehn and Yahr, and the mobility subsection of the Parkinson Disease Questionnaire) were used to calculate MCIDs for variables of interest in a cross-sectional approach. Results: Distribution measures for all variables are presented. Of nine gait variables, four were significantly associated with every anchor and pooled to the following values: velocity (8.2 cm/s), step length mean (3.6 cm), step length variability (0.7%), and step time variability (0.67%). Significance: The finalized MCID for velocity (8.2 cm/s) was nearly half of the MCID of 15 cm/s reported by Hass et al., potentially due to differences in calculations. These results allow for evaluations of effectiveness of interventions by providing values that are specific to changes in gait for PwPD. Alterations of methodology including different versions of clinical or walking assessments, and/or different calculation and selection of gait variables necessitate careful reasoning when using presented MCIDs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)257-263
Number of pages7
JournalGait and Posture
StatePublished - Feb 2024


  • Gait
  • MCID
  • Parkinson disease


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