Self-Selected Walking Speed Predicts Ability to Run Following Traumatic Brain Injury

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Abstract

Objective:

To identify factors that predict running ability following traumatic brain injury (TBI), and to quantify performance thresholds for these predictors.

Design:

Cross-sectional cohort study.

Participants:

One hundred fourteen people with TBI.

Outcome Measures:

Self-selected walking speed, the high-level mobility assessment tool, postural stability (lateral center of mass displacement), ankle power generation at push-off and quality of gait performance (Gait Profile Score).

Results:

All predictor variables were all strongly associated with the ability to run. However, only self-selected walking speed contributed significantly to the final result. Investigation of performance thresholds for self-selected walking speed indicated that following TBI, people who walk at speeds of 1.0 m/s or higher are 16.9 times more likely of being able to run than for those who walk at speeds of less than 1.0 m/s.

Conclusions:

Self-selected walking speeds higher than 1.0 m/s greatly increase the likelihood of running following brain injury. The 1.0 m/s threshold, although slower than able-bodied self-selected walking speeds, may be an important indicator of the ability to run in this population.

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