Objective. The minimum clinically important difference (MCID) is a standard way of measuring clinical relevance. The objective of this work was to establish the MCID for the 6-minute walking test (6minWT) and the Gross Motor Function Measure (GMFM-88) in pediatric gait disorders. Methods. A cohort, pretest-posttest study was conducted in a hospitalized care setting. A total of 182 patients with acquired brain injury (ABI) or cerebral palsy (CP) performed 20 robot-assisted gait training sessions complemented with 20 sessions of physical therapy over 4 weeks. Separate MCIDs were calculated using 5 distribution-based approaches, complemented with an anonymized survey completed by clinical professionals. Results. The MCID range for the 6minWT was 20-38 m in the ABI cohort, with subgroup ranges of 20-36 m for GMFCS I-II, 23-46 m for GMFCS III, and 24-46 m for GMFCS IV. MCIDs for the CP population were 6-23 m, with subgroup ranges of 4-28 m for GMFCS I-II, 9-19 m for GMFCS III, and 10-27 m for GMFCS IV. For GMFM-88 total score, MCID values were 1.1%-5.3% for the ABI cohort and 0.1%-3.0% for the CP population. For dimension "D" of the GMFM, MCID ranges were 2.3%-6.5% and 0.8%-5.2% for ABI and CP populations, respectively. For dimension "E," MCID ranges were 2.8%-6.5% and 0.3%-4.9% for ABI and CP cohorts, respectively. The survey showed a large interquartile range, but the results well mimicked the distribution-based methods. Conclusions. This study identified for the first time MCID ranges for 6minWT and GMFM-88 in pediatric patients with neurological impairments, offering useful insights for clinicians to evaluate the impact of treatments. Distribution-based methods should be used with caution: Methods based on pre-post correlation may underestimate MCID when applied to patients with small improvements over the treatment period. Our results should be complemented with estimates obtained using consensus- A nd anchor-based approaches.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)