Systematic review| Volume 101, ISSUE 3, P524-534, March 2020

Quantitative Synthesis of Timed 25-Foot Walk Performance in Multiple Sclerosis

Published:October 24, 2019DOI:



      To provide a meta-analysis of articles that have included the timed 25-foot walk (T25FW) in persons with multiple sclerosis (MS), quantify differences in T25FW scores between those with MS and controls without MS, and quantify differences between categories of disability status and clinical disease courses within MS.

      Data Sources

      The literature search was conducted using 4 databases (Google Scholar, PubMed, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health, EBSCO Host). We searched reference lists of published articles to identify additional articles.

      Study Selection

      A systematic literature search identified articles reporting average T25FW performance in seconds between those with MS and controls without MS, between those with MS who had mild and moderate and/or severe disability status, and between relapsing-remitting and progressive clinical courses of MS.

      Data Extraction

      Information was extracted and categorized based on reported data: comparisons of controls without MS and MS, comparisons of mild and moderate and/or severe MS based on study-defined Expanded Disability Status Scale groups, and comparisons of relapsing-remitting and progressive MS clinical courses.

      Data Synthesis

      We performed a random effects meta-analysis to quantify differences between groups as estimated by effect sizes (ESs). We expressed the differences in Cohen d as well as the original units of the T25FW (ie, seconds).


      There was a large difference in T25FW performance in MS compared with controls without MS (ES=−0.93, mean difference=2.4s, P<.01). Persons with moderate and/or severe disability walked substantially slower compared with mild disability (ES=−1.02, mean difference=5.4s, P<.01), and persons with progressive courses of MS walked substantially slower than relapsing-remitting MS (ES=−1.4, mean difference=13.4s, P<.01).


      List of abbreviations:

      CMA (Comprehensive Meta-analysis), ES (effect size), MS (multiple sclerosis), QOL (quality of life), T25FW (timed 25-foot walk)
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