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The Use of Pedometers in Stroke Survivors

The Use of Pedometers in Stroke Survivors: Are They Feasible and How Well Do They Defect Steps?

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  • Sarah L. Carroll
  • Carolyn A. Greig
  • Susan J. Lewis
  • Marion E. McMurdo
  • Falko F. Sniehotta
  • Marie Johnston
  • Derek W. Johnston
  • Judy Scopes
  • Gillian E. Mead

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)466-470
Number of pages5
JournalArchives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2012


Carroll SL, Greig CA, Lewis SJ, McMurdo ME, Sniehotta FF, Johnston M, Johnston DW, Scopes J. Mead GE. The use of pedometers in stroke survivors: are they feasible and how well do they detect steps? Arch Phys Med Rehabil 2012;93:466-70.

Objectives: To determine (1) the feasibility of pedometers for stroke patients and (2) the level of agreement between pedometers and actual step count.

Design: Observational agreement study.

Setting: Six stroke units.

Participants: Independently mobile stroke patients (N=50) ready for hospital discharge.

Interventions: Patients were asked to apply 3 pedometers: 1 around the neck and 1 above each hip. Patients performed a short walk lasting 20 seconds, then a 6-minute walk test (6MWT). Video recordings determined the criterion standard step count.

Main Outcome Measure: Agreement between the step count recorded by pedometers and the step count recorded by viewing the criterion standard video recordings of the 2 walks.

Results: Five patients (10%) needed assistance to put on the pedometers, and 5 (10%) could not read the step count. Thirtynine (78%) would use pedometers again. Below a gait speed of about 0.5m/s, pedometers did not generally detect steps. Agreement analyses showed that even above 0.5m/s, pedometers undercounted steps for both the short walk and 6MWT; for example, the mean difference between the video recorder and pedometer around the neck was 5.93 steps during the short walk and 32.4 steps during the 6MWT.

Conclusions: Pedometers are feasible but generally do not detect steps at gait speeds below about 0.5m/s, and they undercount steps at gait speeds above 0.5m/s.



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