Accelerometry-based gait analysis, an additional objective approach to screen subjects at risk for falling.

R. Senden*, H.H. Savelberg, B. Grimm, I.C. Heyligers, K. Meijer

*Corresponding author for this work

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This study investigated whether the Tinetti scale, as a subjective measure for fall risk, is associated with objectively measured gait characteristics. It is studied whether gait parameters are different for groups that are stratified for fall risk using the Tinetti scale. Moreover, the discriminative power of gait parameters to classify elderly according to the Tinetti scale is investigated. Gait of 50 elderly with a Tinneti>24 and 50 elderly with a Tinetti</=24 was analyzed using acceleration-based gait analysis. Validated algorithms were used to derive spatio-temporal gait parameters, harmonic ratio, inter-stride amplitude variability and root mean square (RMS) from the accelerometer data. Clear differences in gait were found between the groups. All gait parameters correlated with the Tinetti scale (r-range: 0.20-0.73). Only walking speed, step length and RMS showed moderate to strong correlations and high discriminative power to classify elderly according to the Tinetti scale. It is concluded that subtle gait changes that have previously been related to fall risk are not captured by the subjective assessment. It is therefore worthwhile to include objective gait assessment in fall risk screening.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)296-300
JournalGait & Posture
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012

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