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Validation study of the StepWatch Activity Monitor™ to measure physical activity in girls and women with Rett syndrome


Dr Jennepher Downs, Clinical Associate Professor Helen Leonard (Telethon Institute for Child Health Research), Dr Kylie Hill,


Rett syndrome is a neurological disorder with intellectual and physical disability, often associated with mutation in the MECP2 gene and mostly affecting girls. Its onset is in early childhood with a gradual or sudden loss of speech and hand function, and the onset of hand stereotypies. Abilities to walk may also be affected. Understanding daily activity levels of walking could provide valuable information but there is currently no validated measure of walking activity in Rett syndrome. However, studies of the StepWatch Activity Monitor ™ (SAM) in other persons with altered walking patterns suggest that this could be a promising device to measure walking activity in Rett syndrome.


This study is assessing the accuracy of the SAM in approximately 12 subjects as a measure of walking activity during usual activities. Preliminary analysis suggests that the SAM generally agrees with the number of steps observed during videoed activities.



Presented as a poster:

Downs J, Leonard H, Hill K Measuring steps with the StepWatch Activity Monitor in Rett syndrome, 2nd European Conference on Rett Syndrome, October 7-10 2010, Edinburgh.