Development and Reliability of the Functional Evaluation Scale for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, Gait Domain: A Pilot Study

Eduardo Vital de Carvalho, Michele Emy Hukuda, Renata Escorcio, Mariana Callil Voos, Fátima Aparecida Caromano
Physiotherapy Research International: the Journal for Researchers and Clinicians in Physical Therapy 2015, 20 (3): 135-46

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The progression of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) results in the emergence of multiple and varied synergies to compensate muscle weakness and to deal with the demands of the functional tasks (e.g. gait). No functional evaluation instrument for individuals with DMD allows the detailed description (subjective qualitative evaluation) and compensatory movement scoring (objective quantitative evaluation) exclusively of gait. For this reason, clinicians and therapists face difficulties in assessment and decision-making of this functional activity. This study aimed to elaborate the gait domain of the Functional Evaluation Scale for DMD (FES-DMD-GD) and test its intra-rater and inter-rater reliabilities and its relationship with age and timed motor performance.

METHOD: We listed all the compensatory movements observed in 102 10-m gait videos of 51 children with DMD. Based on this report, the FES-DMD-GD was created and submitted to the review of 10 experts. After incorporating the experts suggestions, three examiners scored the videos using the FES-DMD-GD. The intra-rater and inter-rater reliabilities was calculated. Spearman correlation tests investigated the relationships between FES-DMD-GD and age and timed motor performance (p < 0.05).

RESULTS: The FES-DMD-GD was composed of three phases and had 14 items to quantify compensatory movements on gait. Intra-class correlation coefficients ranged from acceptable (0.74) to excellent (0.99). FES-DMD-GD correlated to age and timed motor performance.

CONCLUSION: This pilot version of FES-DMD-GD showed reliability and correlated to age and timed motor performance.

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