Modified Functional Walking Categories and participation in people with multiple sclerosis

Published:August 31, 2018DOI:


      • Functional walking categories are associated with disease course and walking aid.
      • Non Ambulant and Limited Household persons have more participation restrictions.
      • Being old and male augmented restrictions in community participation.
      • Use of a walking aid seems a good predictor of overall participation.



      Gait velocity influences the ability of a person to move in different outdoor or indoor contexts and has accordingly been classified through the Modified Functional Walking Categories (MFWC). Community ambulation in persons with multiple sclerosis (PwMS) may give information on their social and productive participation, as well as independence in household activities.


      To investigate factors associated with walking and mobility restrictions as classified by the Modified Functional Walking Categories (MFWC) and analyze the influence of disease characteristics, demographical and walking factors on participation in PwMS.


      155 PwMS attending two rehabilitation center were evaluated. Community ambulation was classified with the MFWC; participation was measured with the Community Integration Questionnaire (CIQ). MFWC and statistically significant variables associated with CIQ score were entered in a multivariate logistic model to assess the multiple relationships.


      PwMS with a secondary progressive type of disease, longer disease duration and using walking aids were classified in the worse MFWC. Participation restrictions were more frequent in Limited Household (72.3%) and in Physiological Walkers (93.7%). The final multivariate model (p < 0.0001) showed that the use of a walking aid (OR = 2.59), being male (OR = 2.94) and older (OR = 1.06) increased the likelihood of having participation restrictions. The same variables predicted home participation; MFWC and age predicted productive participation while only age influenced social participation.


      Modified Functional Walking Categories were associated with type of disease, disease duration, disability level and type of walking aid. The best clinical predictor of participation restriction was walking aid while walking categories only predicted productive participation.


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