Deakin University

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Meta‐Analysis Reveals Gait Anomalies in Autism

journal contribution
posted on 2020-12-01, 00:00 authored by Jarrad LumJarrad Lum, Kerrie Shandley, Natalia Albein‐Urios, Melissa KirkovskiMelissa Kirkovski, Nicole Papadopoulos, Rujuta B Wilson, Peter EnticottPeter Enticott, Nicole Rinehart
Gait abnormalities are frequently reported in autism. The empirical literature, however, is characterized by inconsistent findings concerning which aspects of gait are affected. We conducted a meta‐analysis to summarize study findings that examined temporal and spatial (i.e., two‐dimensional) gait parameters in pediatric and adult samples comprising individuals with autism and healthy controls. After searching electronic databases, a total of 18 studies were identified and included in this review. Results from the meta‐analyses revealed autism is associated with a wider step width, slower walking speed, longer gait cycle, longer stance time and longer step time. Additionally, autism appears to be associated with greater intra‐individual variability on measures of stride length, stride time and walking speed. Meta‐regression analyses revealed cadence and gait cycle duration differences, between autism and control groups, become more pronounced with age. Overall, this review demonstrates that autism is associated with gait abnormalities. However, assessment of the methodological quality of the studies reveal, additional research is required to understand the extent that gait abnormalities are specifically linked to autism, or whether they may be secondary to other factors commonly found in this group, such as increased weight.



Autism Research


Early View


Online Version of Record before inclusion in an issue

Article number



John Wiley & Sons


Hoboken. N.J.







Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

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2020, International Society for Autism Research and Wiley Periodicals LLC