Reduced gait automaticity in female patients with chronic fatigue syndrome: Case-control study

JB Eyskens, Jo Nijs, K Wouters, Greta Moorkens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)


Patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)report difficulties walking for a prolonged period of time. Thisstudy compares gait automaticity between women with CFSand nondisabled controls. The “stops walking with eyes closedwith secondary cognitive task” test is based on the classic“stops walking while talking” test but compares walking witheyes closed while performing a secondary cognitive task in afemale CFS population (n = 34) and in female nondisabledcontrols (n = 38). When initiating gate, 23.5% of patients withCFS looked toward the ground compared with only 2.6% ofnondisabled controls. After 7 m, subjects were asked to closetheir eyes, and after another 7 m, they were asked, “How muchis 100 minus 7?” Of the patients with CFS, 55.9% stoppedwalking compared with 5.3% of nondisabled controls. Lessautomated walking was observed in patients with CFS than innondisabled controls (p < 0.001). The test-retest reliability ismoderate for global stopping. This simple test observedreduced gait automaticity in patients with CFS for the firsttime. Dual tasking could be helpful to address the functionallimitations found in this particular study
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)805-814
Number of pages9
JournalJournal Rehabil Res Dev
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Chronic fatigue

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