Observational gait analysis

Although observational gait analysis is the therapist's primary clinical tool for describing the quality of a patient's walking pattern, it can be extremely unreliable. Attempts to systematize observational gait analysis and to maximize its reliability (Krebs, Edelstein, & Fishman, 1985; Eastlack, Arvidson, & Snyder-Mackler, 1991) have led therapists to certain conclusions:

Observational gait analysis checklist

The checklist, which we use in several laboratory sessions, is a "beginner's version" of ones you might find in various clinics. Adapted from a checklist developed by the Professional Staff Association of Rancho Los Amigos Medical Center (1989), it requires you to make "yes-or-no" decisions about the presence of a short list of gait deficits. The shaded regions are phases of the gait cycle during which you would not see the deficit listed. Thus, the checklist focuses your attention on the unshaded cells, which specify certain deficits during certain parts of the gait cycle.

download Word version of the checklist
oga checklist


Eastlack, M.E., Arvidson, J., & Snyder-Mackler, L., et. al. (1991). Interrater reliability of videotaped observational gait analysis assessments. Physical Therapy, 71, 465-472.

Krebs, D.E., Edelstein, J.E., & Fishman, S. (1985). Reliability of observational kinematic gait analysis. Physical Therapy, 65, 1027-1033.

Professional Staff Association of Rancho Los Amigos Medical Center. (1989). Observational gait analysis handbook. Downey, CA: Author.

Last updated 4-10-02 ©Dave Thompson PT