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Relationships between motor impairments and activity limitations in patients with neuromuscular disorders
  1. L Vandervelde1,
  2. P Y K Van den Bergh2,3,
  3. A Renders2,4,
  4. N Goemans5,
  5. J-L Thonnard1
  1. 1
    Laboratory of Rehabilitation and Physical Medicine, Université catholique de Louvain, Brussels, Belgium
  2. 2
    Neuromuscular Reference Centre, Cliniques universitaires Saint-Luc, Brussels, Belgium
  3. 3
    Neurology Department, Cliniques universitaires Saint-Luc, Brussels, Belgium
  4. 4
    Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Cliniques universitaires Saint-Luc, Brussels, Belgium
  5. 5
    Neuromuscular Reference Centre and Department of Child Neurology, Universitair Ziekenhuis Gasthuisberg, Leuven, Belgium
  1. Professor J-L Thonnard, Université catholique de Louvain, Unité de Réadaptation et de Médecine Physique (READ 5375), 53, Av Mounier, B-1200 Brussels, Belgium; jean-louis.thonnard{at}uclouvain.be

Abstract

Aim: The strength and nature of the relationships between motor impairments and activity limitations assessed by the ACTIVLIM questionnaire were investigated in 245 patients with neuromuscular disorders.

Methods: Measures of motor impairments consisted of: (1) a grip strength test using a Jamar dynamometer, (2) a Manual Muscle Testing bilaterally performed in 18 muscle groups and (3) a gait speed spontaneously adopted by the patients using the 10 m timed walking test.

Results: Activity limitations were poorly correlated with grip strength in both hands (r = 0.3 and 0.36) and moderately correlated with gait speed (r = 0.53). Spearman’s coefficients of correlation between the manual muscle testing and activity limitations were moderate to very poor (ρ = 0.5 to 0.17).

Conclusion: The relationships between motor impairments and activity limitations are not straightforward in patients with neuromuscular disorders, indicating that the activity limitations should be separately assessed and cannot be simply inferred from motor impairment measures.

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Footnotes

  • Competing interests: None.

  • Funding: This study was supported by a grant from the “Association Belge contre les Maladies neuroMusculaires”, the “Fonds Spéciaux de Recherche of the Université catholique de Louvain, the “Association Nationale d’Aide aux Handicapés” and the “Fondation Saint-Luc”.

  • Ethics approval: The study was approved by the medical ethics committees of the Université catholique de Louvain and the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven.

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