Arnaud Gouelle, Linda Rennie, David J ClarkShow, Fabrice Mégrot, Chitralakshmi Balasubramanian
Prior research has established the Gait Variability Index (GVI) as a composite measure of gait variability, based on spatiotemporal parameters, that is associated with functional outcomes. However, under certain circumstances the magnitude and directional specificity of the GVI is adversely affected by shortcomings in the calculation method. Here we present an enhanced gait variability index (EGVI) that addresses those shortcomings and improves the utility of the measure. The EGVI was further enhanced by removing some input spatiotemporal variables that captured overlapping/redundant information. The EGVI was used to reanalyze data from four previously published studies that used the original GVI. After removing data affected by the GVI’s prior shortcomings, the association between EGVI and GVI values was stronger for the pooled dataset (r2 = 0.95) and for the individual studies (r2 = 0.88–0.98). The EGVI also revealed stronger associations between the index value and functional outcomes for some studies. The EGVI successfully addresses shortcomings in the GVI calculation that affected magnitude and directional specificity of the index. We have confirmed the validity of prior published work that used the original GVI, while also demonstrating even stronger results when these prior data were re-analyzed with the EGVI. We recommend that future research should use the EGVI as a composite measure of gait variability.