Intra-rater repeatability of gait parameters in healthy adults during self-paced treadmill-based virtual reality walking

<p>Self-paced treadmill walking is becoming increasingly popular for the gait assessment and re-education, in both research and clinical settings. Its day-to-day repeatability is yet to be established. This study scrutinised the test-retest repeatability of key gait parameters, obtained from the Gait Real-time Analysis Interactive Lab (GRAIL) system. Twenty-three male able-bodied adults (age: 34.56 ± 5.12 years) completed two separate gait assessments on the GRAIL system, separated by 5 ± 3 days. Key gait kinematic, kinetic, and spatial-temporal parameters were analysed. The Intraclass-Correlation Coefficients (ICC), Standard Error Measurement (SEM), Minimum Detectable Change (MDC), and the 95% limits of agreements were calculated to evaluate the repeatability of these gait parameters. Day-to-day agreements were excellent (ICCs > 0.87) for spatial-temporal parameters with low MDC and SEM values, <0.153 and <0.055, respectively. The repeatability was higher for joint kinetic than kinematic parameters, as reflected in small values of SEM (<0.13 Nm/kg and <3.4°) and MDC (<0.335 Nm/kg and <9.44°). The obtained values of all parameters fell within the 95% limits of agreement. Our findings demonstrate the repeatability of the GRAIL system available in our laboratory. The SEM and MDC values can be used to assist researchers and clinicians to distinguish ‘real’ changes in gait performance over time.</p>