Volume 44 Number 3 2007
Pages 347 — 354

Abstract - Using effect size to quantify plantar pressure asymmetry of gait of nondisabled adults and patients with hemiparesis

François J. Potdevin, MD;1-2 Virginie G. Femery, PhD;1 Aurélien Decatoire, MD;1 Laurent Bosquet, PhD;1 Yann Coello, PhD;2 Pierre Moretto, PhD1*

1Laboratoire d'Etudes de la Motricité Humaine, Faculté des Sciences du Sport et de l'Education Physique, Ronchin, France; 2Unité de Recherche sur l'Evolution des Comportements et des Apprentissages, Université Charles de Gaulle, Villeneuve d'Ascq cedex, France

Abstract — In the literature, numerous statistical analyses are used to quantify asymmetry in gait. This study tested the effect size (ES) statistic for quantifying asymmetry in nondisabled and pathological populations. The plantar pressure peaks on eight footprint locations of 27 nondisabled subjects and 18 patients with hemiparesis were bilaterally compared. Asymmetry quantifications were performed with ES and standard statistical tests (index of asymmetry, symmetry index, and ratio index). The results show an advantage in using ES to quantify asymmetry when confidence limits are also calculated. Conversely, traditional asymmetry indexes immediately implied asymmetry without statistical basis. These findings should be considered when one is attempting to diagnose pathological walking patterns or guide rehabilitation processes.

Key words: abnormality, baropodometric, diagnostic, normality, plantar pressure, quantification, rehabilitation, statistics, symmetry, walking.

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