L-Test Can Indicate Mobility During Initial Prosthetic Training

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Noting that the L-Test should be performed at a fast walking speed to assess dynamic balance, researchers set out to determine its measurement properties in the initial prosthetic training phase after a lower-limb amputation. They concluded that the L-Test is a feasible, reliable, valid, and responsive measure of basic mobility skills in patients after lower-limb amputation during the initial prosthetic training.

The objective was to establish intra-rater and inter-rater reliability, concurrent and discriminant validity, minimal detectable change, effect size between the rehabilitation time points, and the ceiling effect of the L-Test.

The study included 36 inpatients (19-86 years old) who were provided with a prosthesis for the first time. They were assessed repeatedly with the L-Test, ten-meter walk test, and six-minute walk test. The intra-rater and inter-rater reliability of the L-Test were excellent, and correlations with the walking tests were very good, the researchers found.

Regression analysis with respect to the level of amputation showed a linear relationship with other variables. The influences of age, cause of amputation, and use of a walking aid were statistically significant. The L-Test was also found to be responsive to change after two weeks of prosthetic training, and no ceiling effect was identified.

The study, "Measurement properties of the L Test with fast walking speed in patients after lower limb amputation in initial prosthetic training," was published in International Journal of Rehabilitation Research.