September 17, 2018

Free Toolkit for Physiotherapists to Better Assess Post-Stroke Gait
 
TORONTO, September 17, 2018– A clinical toolkit is now available to help physiotherapists use an evidence-informed approach to administering the 10-metre walk test and the 6-minute walk test with people post-stroke.  
 
The iWalk Toolkit includes a guide, videos, and a new app called iWalkAssess. These resources are designed to help physiotherapists administer the walk tests, interpret test performance, educate patients, and set goals.
 
The iWalk Toolkit is the result of intensive work led by U of T’s Associate Professor Nancy Salbach of the Department of Physical Therapy to synthesize and interpret the research evidence supporting these walk tests. Ten international researchers and 18 physiotherapists reviewed the content. Educational theory and a guideline development framework were used to design features and activities to optimize learning and clinical application.
 
Therapists face challenges with using the 10-metre walk test and the 6-minute walk test that include lack of test familiarity, publication of diverse walk test protocols and reference values, and the need for manual calculations to interpret test performance. The iWalk Toolkit was developed to address these issues. 
 
The guide contains four educational modules that outline an evidence-informed approach to using the 10-metre walk test and 6-minute walk test. Users of the guide are asked to complete learning activities in the guide to help integrate the information into clinical practice. 
 
“This is terrific. It is clearly the most comprehensive and evidence-based guideline that has been developed for the 10-metre walk and 6-minute walk,” says Professor Pamela Duncan, a leading stroke rehabilitation expert at Wake Forest School of Medicine who reviewed the guide. “The team could not have produced a more outstanding guide.”
 
The iWalkAssess app provides stroke-specific walk test protocols, timing tools, and algorithms to automatically compare test performance with walk test norms, crosswalk speed, distances to walk at community locations, and minimal detectable change values. The app makes it easy for therapists to perform the walk tests and quickly interpret test results to support clinical decision-making. 
 
“After reviewing the research literature, we created this easy-to-use app to help therapists administer walk tests, and interpret test performance for treatment, education, and goal setting,” says Dr. Salbach.
 
While the app was designed for use by physiotherapists in acute care, rehabilitation, and outpatient settings, other health and fitness professionals who evaluate walking post-stroke in healthcare and recreation settings will find it helpful. 
 
Where can you find the iWalk Toolkit?

To download the iWalk Guide, click here.
To view and download forms and checklists mentioned in the iWalk Guide, click here (scroll down to see files under “iWalk Guide”). 
Click one of the following links to view the three iWalk videos on YouTubeTM:
iWalk: Administration of the 10-Metre Walk Test and 6-Minute Walk Test Post-Stroke (includes educational content)
iWalk: 10-Metre Walk Test Post-Stroke (test administration only)
iWalk: 6-Minute Walk Test Post-Stroke (test administration only)
The iWalkAssessapp is free and available for download from the App store and Google Play.
 
The iWalk Toolkit was developed with funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Government of Ontario, and the Heart and Stroke Foundation Canadian Partnership for Stroke Recovery
 
iWalkAssess was created by Sojourn Labs with updates by Mike Spears, MADLab Manager and Mobile Developer at the University of Toronto.