Measurement Characteristics and Clinical Utility of the 12-Item Multiple Sclerosis Walking Scale

      Mobility impairments are among the most common symptoms reported by individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS),1 with prevalence rates ranging from about 50% to >90%.2 Fewer than 50% of people with MS walk unaided.3 Gait abnormalities are found in individuals with early MS4 and those minimally affected by the disease5; yet, people with MS can remain ambulatory for 10 to 20 years and more.6 Those with more disability (Expanded Disability Status Scale scores 3–5) are at moderate risk of developing gait limitations in 10 years, with half requiring an assistive device.6 Thus, measuring mobility is a common component of the examination of patients with MS. The 12-Item MS Walking Scale7 (MSWS-12) is a self-report measure of the impact of MS on walking ability. Two versions exist; this summary pertains to the original version. The MSWS-12 can be administered in less than 10 minutes; each item is rated on a 1–5 point scale (1 = no limitation and 5 = extreme limitation) and the score is transformed to a 0–100 point scale. Data support its reliability, validity, and responsiveness.
      This abbreviated summary provides a review of the psychometric properties of the MSWS-12. A full review of the MSWS-12 and 62 other measures for patients with MS can be found at Reviews of nearly 200 other instruments for patients with various health conditions can be found at
      Please address all correspondence to Diane Allen, PhD, at University of California San Francisco/San Francisco State University ( [email protected] ) or Kirsten Potter, PT, DPT, MS, NCS at Rockhurst University ( [email protected] ).
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      This instrument summary is designed to facilitate the selection of outcome measures by trained clinicians. The information contained in this summary represents a sample of the peer-reviewed research available at the time of this summary's publication. The information contained in this summary does not constitute an endorsement of this instrument for clinical practice. The views expressed are those of the summary authors and do not represent those of authors' employers, instrument owner(s), the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, the Rehabilitation Measures Database, or the United States Department of Education. The information contained in this summary has not been reviewed externally.
      The Rehabilitation Measures Database and Instrument Summary Tear-sheets are funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, United States Department of Education through the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Improving Measurement of Medical Rehabilitation Outcomes (H133B090024).