ADSTEP: Preliminary Investigation of a Multicomponent Walking Aid Program in People With Multiple Sclerosis

Douglas N. Martini, Eline Zeeboer, Andrea Hildebrand, Brett W. Fling, Cinda L. Hugos, Michelle H. Cameron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Objective: To evaluate the effect of the Assistive Device Selection, Training and Education Program (ADSTEP) on falls and walking and sitting activity in people with multiple sclerosis (PwMS). Design: Randomized controlled trial. Setting: Veterans affairs medical center. Participants: PwMS (N=40) using a walking aid at baseline who had fallen in the previous year. Interventions: Participants were randomly assigned to ADSTEP or control. ADSTEP had 6 weekly, 40-minute, 1-on-1 sessions with a physical therapist, starting with walking aid selection and fitting, followed by task-oriented progressive gait training. Control was usual medical care with the option of ADSTEP after the study. Main Outcome Measures: The following were assessed at baseline, intervention completion, and 3 months later: falls, timed Up and Go, timed 25-foot walk, 2-minute walk, Four Square Step Test, International Physical Activity Questionnaire, Quebec User Evaluation of Satisfaction with Assistive Technologies, Multiple Sclerosis Walking Scale-12, Activities-Specific Balance Confidence Scale, and Multiple Sclerosis Impact Scale-29. Effect on these outcomes was estimated by a 2-by-2 repeated measures general linear model. Results: Fewer ADSTEP than control participants fell (χ2=3.96, P<.05. number needed to treat =3.3). Time spent sitting changed significantly differently with ADSTEP than with control from baseline to intervention completion (F=11.16, P=.002. ADSTEP: reduced 87.00±194.89min/d; control: increased 103.50±142.21min/d; d=0.88) and to 3-month follow-up (F=9.25, P=.004. ADSTEP: reduced 75.79±171.57min/d; control: increased 84.50±149.23min/d; d=0.79). ADSTEP yielded a moderate effect on time spent walking compared to control at 3-month follow-up (P>.05. ADSTEP 117.53±148.40min/d; control 46.43±58.55min/d; d=0.63). Conclusions: ADSTEP prevents falls, reduces sitting, and may increase walking in PwMS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2050-2058
Number of pages9
JournalArchives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2018


  • Accidental falls
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Physical activity
  • Randomized controlled trial
  • Rehabilitation
  • Walking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation


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