Research Study Abstract

Accelerometry in persons with multiple sclerosis: Measurement of physical activity or walking mobility?

  • Published on March 15, 2010

Objective: Motion sensors such as accelerometers have been recognized as an ideal measure of physical activity in persons with MS. This study examined the hypothesis that accelerometer movement counts represent a measure of both physical activity and walking mobility in individuals with MS.

Methods: The sample included 269 individuals with a definite diagnosis of relapsing–remitting MS who completed the Godin Leisure-Time Exercise Questionnaire (GLTEQ), International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ), Multiple Sclerosis Walking Scale-12 (MSWS-12), Patient Determined Disease Steps (PDDS), and then wore an ActiGraph accelerometer for 7days. The data were analyzed using bivariate correlation and confirmatory factor analysis.

Results: The results indicated that (a) the GLTEQ and IPAQ scores were strongly correlated and loaded significantly on a physical activity latent variable, (b) the MSWS-12 and PDDS scores strongly correlated and loaded significantly on a walking mobility latent variable, and (c) the accelerometer movement counts correlated similarly with the scores from the four self-report questionnaires and cross-loaded on both physical activity and walking mobility latent variables.

Conclusion: Our data suggest that accelerometers are measuring both physical activity and walking mobility in persons with MS, whereas self-report instruments are measuring either physical activity or walking mobility in this population.


  • Madeline Weikert 1
  • Robert W. Motl 1
  • Yoojin Suh 1
  • Edward McAuley 1
  • Daniel Wynn 2


  • 1

    Dept. of Kinesiology and Community Health, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL

  • Consultants in Neurology MS Center, Northbrook, IL


Journal of Neurological Sciences


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