Cognitive processing speed has minimal influence on the construct validity of Multiple Sclerosis Walking Scale-12 scores

Robert W. Motl, Diego Cadavid, Brian M. Sandroff, Lara A. Pilutti, John H. Pula, Ralph H.B. Benedict

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background The Multiple Sclerosis Walking Scale-12 (MSWS-12) has been a commonly used patient reported outcome for measuring walking impairment in research involving multiple sclerosis (MS). Objective We examined the possibility that cognitive processing speed (CPS) influences the association between MSWS-12 scores and other measures of ambulation (i.e., construct validity). Methods 96 MS patients completed the MSWS-12, underwent a neurological examination for generating an Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) score, and completed the Symbol Digit Modalities Test (SDMT), Timed 25-Foot Walk (T25FW), 4 trials on the GAITRite™ for generating the functional ambulatory profile (FAP) score, and Six-minute Walk (6MW). Results The SDMT was significantly correlated with MSWS-12 scores (r = -.428) and T25FW (r = -.459), 6MW (r =.512), FAP (r =.275), and EDSS (r = -.404) scores. There were statistically significant correlations between MSWS-12 and T25FW (r =.568), 6MW (r = -.680), FAP (r = -.595), and EDSS (r =.737) scores. Lastly, four separate hierarchical linear regression analyses indicated that, after controlling for age, gender, disease duration, and clinical course, T25FW, 6MW, FAP, and EDSS scores individually were significant correlates of MSWS-12 scores, and the associations (i.e., standardized beta-coefficients) were still statistically significant with minimal attenuation when controlling for SDMT scores. Conclusion There was minimal evidence that CPS influenced the construct validity of MSWS-12 scores.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)169-173
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the Neurological Sciences
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Dec 15 2013


  • Cognition
  • Gait
  • Measurement
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Validity
  • Walking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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