Validity and reliability of the 20-m run, horizontal leap, and four-bound tests measuring high-level mobility in neurologically impaired patients

Marek Gorski, Grant Scroggie, Terrence Haines

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Background: High-level mobility (HLM) training including running forms an integral part of physical rehabilitation for neurologically impaired patients. Objective: This study examines the validity and reliability of three quickly administrable measures of HLM, namely, the 20-m run, horizontal leap, and four-bound tests in patients with neurological disorders. Methods: This is a retrospective data audit of 62 patients (23 women, 37.1%; 39 men, 62.9%) participating in the HLM (running retraining) task. All participants were recovering from neurological conditions such as stroke, brain injury, brain/spinal tumour, Guillain-Barré syndrome, and cerebral palsy complications. Results: High levels of test-retest reliability of the investigated tests (interclass correlation coefficient > 0.95) were obtained. The 95% minimum detectable changes were as follows: 20-m run, 1.9 seconds; horizontal leap, 0.20 m; four-bound test, 0.57 m. The area under the receiver-operated characteristic curve was 0.96 for the 20-m run, 0.90 for the horizontal leap, and 0.91 for the four-bound test, which suggests high validity of the tests to discriminate between participants who were classified as "running" and those as "not running". Participants performing at < 7.2 seconds for the 20-m run test or ≥ 0.75 m for the horizontal leap test or 4.0 m for the four-bound test were most likely classified as running. Conclusion: The 20-m run, horizontal leap, and four-bound tests are valid and reliable objective measures of HLM when administered in people with neurological conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-66
Number of pages8
JournalHong Kong Physiotherapy Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • High-level mobility
  • Neurological conditions
  • Rehabilitation
  • Running retraining

Cite this