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Vestibular Tests: DGI

  • Today we’re going to take a look at the Dynamic Gait Index and this is a functional gait assessment used to assess fall risk.  It has eight different categories and the categories are each rated from zero to three and in those categories, three is considered normal with decreasing ability going to zero.  If you score 24 out of 24, that is normal.  As you become less able to perform the test, then anything less than 19 out of 24 is considered in a category of at risk for falls.

    The first category is walking on a level surface and so you’ll walk at your normal speed, from the beginning to the end of a 20 foot length and then it is graded on the use of the different speed, gait pattern and gait deviations. 

    The second category of the Dynamic Gait Index is change in gait speed.  So you begin walking at your normal pace for about five feet, then when you’re told to walk fast, you walk fast for five feet, and then when told to walk slow, you walk slow for five feet.  Again it is rated on the significant difference in walking speeds and gait deviations seen. 

    Category 3 of the Dynamic Gait Index is for gait with horizontal head turns.  You begin walking looking straight ahead at your normal pace and then when told, you look to the right for about three steps and then you look to the left for about three steps and again it is rated on change in gait speed and disruption of smooth speed and gait deviation. 

    Category 4 of the Dynamic Gait Index is gait with vertical head turns.  You begin walking, looking straight ahead at your normal pace.  When told to look up, you try to look up and keep walking straight, and then when you’re told to look down, you walk with your head looking down for three steps.  Again it’s rated on any change in gait deviations or speed and use of assistive devices. 

    Category 5 of the Dynamic Gait Index is gait and pivot turn.  With this one you begin walking at your normal pace and when told to turn and stop, you quickly turn and face the opposite direction and stop.  This one is rated to be done within three seconds and if there’s any mild impairment or gait deviations or seen with having to catch themselves. 

    Category 6 of the Dynamic Gait Index is stepping over an obstacle.  You begin walking at your normal speed and when you come to two shoe boxes, then you step over it not around it and you keep walking for the entire twenty feet.  Again this is rated on gait speed and deviation.

    Category 7 of the Dynamic Gait Index is step around obstacles.  You begin walking at your normal speed and when you come to the first box or cone, then you walk around it on the right side of it and when you come to the second cone, you walk around it on the left side and continue for twenty feet.  It is rated on change of speed with obstacles and gait deviations. 

    Category 8 of the Dynamic Gait Index is ambulating on stairs.  You walk up stairs as you would at home, using the rail if necessary and at the top you turn around and walk down.  This is rated on whether there’s alternating feet on the stairs with no rail, alternating feet with the use of rail, two feet to the same stairs with rail or cannot perform safely.  

     

     

     

Balance Ear, Nose and Throat;Hearing and Balance

 

 

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