Has been used in various patient populations including stroke, Parkinson’s disease, general neurologic movement disorders, and SCI.
The 10 MWT only assesses walking speed and does not consider the amount of physical assistance required, devices or endurance.
The test is conducted in a controlled environment (i.e., lab or hospital setting), so results cannot be directly translated to the environment (i.e., crossing a busy street). The 10 MWT also requires an individual to ambulate a minimum of 14 m. There have been reports in the literature that the distance is not always standardized (i.e., 10 m versus 14 m).
It is a useful measure in the SCI population for both research and clinical practice. The scale properties (time in seconds or m/s) of the 10 MWT make it a responsive test well suited to evaluating clinical interventions.
Is suitable for individuals who can, at a minimum, ambulate in household settings (i.e., > 14 m).
Assessment is easy to set up and administer, and is well-tolerated by most patient groups.
The 10MWT is clinician-administered and measures the time required for the person with SCI to walk 10 meters.
The test is performed using a ‘flying start’ – the person walks 14 meters and the time is measured for the intermediate 10 meters walked.
The person performing the test walks at his/her preferred walking speed, they may use any assistive device (e.g., braces or walker) that they normally use, and they must wear shoes for increased safety.
Number of Items
1 – The 10 meter walking test is the only item.
A 14 meter corridor free of obstacles, and a stopwatch.
The time (to the nearest second) is reported. Walking speed (meters/second) can be calculated by dividing 10 meters by total time in seconds.
None, though a clinician familiar with people with SCI is recommended for safety.
# of studies reporting psychometric properties: 23
MCID: 0.15 m/s (Forrest et al. 2014; n=249 people with incomplete SCI; outpatient, median time since injury = 0.7 years) SEM: 0.05 m/s (Lam et al. 2008, calculated from van Hedel et al. 2005, n=22; 14 males, mixed injury types, no information on chronicity) MDC: 0.105 m/s (Tester et al. 2016; n=72, 57 males, 20 sessions of locomotor training, mixed injury types, median (range) post-SCI = 0.7 (0.1-14.7) years
– Median (range) scores: AIS C: 0 (0-0.5) – 0 (0-1.7); AIS D: 0.3 (0-2.0) – 0.8 (0-2.6) (Harkema et al. 2016; N=152, 123 male, mixed injury type, median (range) time post-SCI – 0.9 (0.1 – 45.2) years)
Reliability – High
Number of studies reporting reliability data: 8
High Test-retest Reliability:
ICC = 0.977-0.981 (Musselman and Yang 2013; n=20, 14 males, incomplete SCI, time since injury (SD) = 5.4 (8.8) years)
High Inter-rater Reliability:
ICC = 0.997 (Srisim et al. 2015; n=83, chronic SCI, mixed injury types, mean time since injury (multiple and non-multiple fallers) = 46.72-58.70 months)
High Intra-rater Reliability: ICC = 0.974 (Van Hedel et al. 2005; n=22, 14 males, mixed injury types, no information on chronicity)
High Test-retest Reliability: ICC = 0.983-0.97 (Perez-Sanpablo et al. 2017; n=23, 15 males, mean age: 45.6 + 12.6 years, chronic and subacute injury types).
High Test-retest Reliability: ICC = 0.99 (Rini et al. 2018; n=25, 22 males, mean age: 27 years, AIS A/B)
Number of studies reporting validity data: 15
High correlation with Walking Index for SCI:
At 3 months r = 0.78; At 6 months r = 0.85; At 12 months r = 0.77
High correlation with Functional Independence Measure-Locomotor Score:
At 3 months r = 0.80; At 6 months > 0.80; At 12 months r = 0.66
High correlation with 6-Minute Walk Test:
At 3 months r = 0.95; At 6 months > 0.80; At 12 months r = 0.92
(Ditunno et al. 2007; n=146, 114 males, inpatient, incomplete SCI, within 1 year post-injury)
Low to Moderate correlation with ASIA Motor Scale:
UEMS r = 0.24; LEMS r = 0.69; ASIA Motor Score r = 0.63
(Harkema et al. 2016; N=152, 123 male; mixed injury type; median (range) time post-SCI = 0.9 (0.1-45.2) years)
Moderate to High correlation with WISCI-II
r=-0.37 to -0.795
Moderate correlation with LEMS
r= -0.4 to -0.39
(Perez-Sanpablo et al. 2017; n=23, 15 males, mean age: 45.6 + 12.6 years, chronic and subacute injury types).
Effect Size: Mean change (m/s): 1 to 3 months post-injury = 0.92; 3 to 6 months post-injury = 0.47 (Lam et al. 2008, calculated from measurements made in van Hedel et al. 2007; n=51, 42 males, incomplete SCI, 46 with traumatic injury)
Standardized Response Mean: All individuals: 0.51; AIS-A/B: 0.51; AIS-C: 0.50; AIS-D: 0.98 (Post locomotor training; Harkema et al. 2016; N=152, 123 male; mixed injury type; median (range) time post-SCI = 0.9 (0.1-45.2) years)
Not established in SCI
Dr. Christie Chan, John Zhu, Jeremy Mak, Kyle Diab, Matthew Querée, Joanne Chi
Amatachaya S, Naewla S, Srisim K, Arrayawichanon P, Siritaratiwat W. Concurrent validity of the 10-meter walk test as compared with the 6-minute walk test in patients with spinal cord injury at various levels of ability. Spinal Cord. 2014;52(4):333-6. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24445972
Datta S, Lorenz DJ, Morrison S, Ardolino E, Harkema SJ. A multivariate examination of temporal changes in Berg Balance Scale items for patients with ASIA Impairment Scale C and D spinal cord injuries. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 2009;90:1208-17. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19577035
Ditunno JF Jr, Barbeau H, Dobkin BH, Elashoff R, Harkema S, Marino RJ, Hauck WW, Apple D, Basso DM, Behrman A, Deforge D, Fugate L, Saulino M, Scott M, Chung J, Spinal Cord Injury Locomotor Trial Group. Validity of the walking scale for spinal cord injury and other domains of function in a multicenter clinical trial. Neurorehabil Neural Repair 2007; 21: 539-550. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17507642
Duffell LD, Brown GL, Mirbagheri MM. Interventions to Reduce Spasticity and Improve Function in People With Chronic Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury: Distinctions Revealed by Different Analytical Methods. Neurorehabil Neural Repair. 2015;29(6):566-76. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25398727
Harkema SJ, Shogren C, Ardolino E, Lorenz DJ. Assessment of functional improvement without compensation for human spinal cord injury: extending the Neuromuscular Recovery Scale to the upper extremities. J Neurotraum 2016. Ahead of print. doi:10.1089/neu.2015.4213. http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/neu.2015.4213
Lemay JF and Nadeau S. Standing balance assessment in ASIA D paraplegic and tetraplegic participants: concurrent validity of the Berg Balance Scale. Spinal Cord (2010) 48, 245–250; doi:10.1038/sc.2009.119 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19773797
Olmos LE, Freixes O, Gatti MA, Cozzo DA, Fernandez SA, Vila CJ, Agrati PE, Rubel IF. Comparison of gait performance on different environmental settings for patients with chronic spinal cord injury. Spinal Cord, 2008; 46, 331-334. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17923845
Poncumhak P, Saengsuwan J, Amatachaya S. Ability of walking without a walking device in patients with spinal cord injury as determined using data from functional tests. J Spinal Cord Med. 2014;37(4):389-96. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24621030
Poncumhak P, Saengsuwan J, Kamruecha W, Amatachaya S. Reliability and validity of three functional tests in ambulatory patients with spinal cord injury. Spinal Cord. 2013;51(3):214-7. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23147127
Saensook W, Poncumhak P, Saengsuwan J, Mato L, Kamruecha W, Amatachaya S. Discriminative ability of the three functional tests in independent ambulatory patients with spinal cord injury who walked with and without ambulatory assistive devices. J Spinal Cord Med. 2014;37(2):212-7. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24090342
Scivoletto G, Tamburella F, Laurenza L, Foti C, Ditunno JF, Molinari M. Validity and reliability of the 10-m walk test and the 6-min walk test in spinal cord injury patients. Spinal Cord (2011) 49, 736–740; doi:10.1038/sc.2010.180 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21221120
Srisim K, Saengsuwan J, Amatachaya S. Functional assessments for predicting a risk of multiple falls in independent ambulatory patients with spinal cord injury. J Spinal Cord Med. 2015;38(4):439-45. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24621036
Tester NJ, Lorenz DJ, Suter SP, et al. Responsiveness of the Neuromuscular Recovery Scale During Outpatient Activity-Dependent Rehabilitation for Spinal Cord Injury. Neurorehabil Neural Repair. 2016;30(6):528-38. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26359344
van Hedel HJA Wirz M, Dietz V. Assessing walking ability in subjects with spinal cord injury: validity and reliability of 3 walking tests. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 2005;86:190-196. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15706542
van Hedel HJA, Dietz V, and the EM-SCI Study Group. Walking during daily life can be validly and responsively assessed in subjects with a spinal cord injury. Neurorehabil Neural Repair 2009; 23: 117-124. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18997156
van Hedel HJA, Wirz M, Dietz V. Standardized assessment of walking capacity after spinal cord injury: the European network approach. Neurological Research 2008; 30: 61-73. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17767814
Wirz M, Muller R, Bastiaenen C. Falls in Persons With Spinal Cord Injury: Validity and Reliability of the Berg Balance Scale. Neurorehabil Neural Repair 2010 24: 70; DOI: 10.1177/1545968309341059 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19675123