Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development (JRRD)

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Volume 49 Number 8, 2012
   Pages 1261 — 1268

Abstract — Activity monitor accuracy in persons using canes

Deborah Michael Wendland, PT, DPT, CPed;1* Stephen H. Sprigle, PhD, PT1–2

1School of Applied Physiology and 2School of Industrial Design, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA

Abstract–The StepWatch activity monitor has not been validated on multiple indoor and outdoor surfaces in a population using ambulation aids. The aims of this technical report are to report on strategies to configure the StepWatch activity monitor on subjects using a cane and to report the accuracy of both leg-mounted and cane-mounted StepWatch devices on people ambulating over different surfaces while using a cane. Sixteen subjects aged 67 to 85 yr (mean 75.6) who regularly use a cane for ambulation participated. StepWatch calibration was performed by adjusting sensitivity and cadence. Following calibration optimization, accuracy was tested on both the leg-mounted and cane-mounted devices on different surfaces, including linoleum, sidewalk, grass, ramp, and stairs. The leg-mounted device had an accuracy of 93.4% across all surfaces, while the cane-mounted device had an aggregate accuracy of 84.7% across all surfaces. Accuracy of the StepWatch on the stairs was significantly less accurate (p < 0.001) when comparing surfaces using repeated measures analysis of variance. When monitoring community mobility, placement of a StepWatch on a person and his/her ambulation aid can accurately document both activity and device use.

Key words: accelerometry, accuracy, ambulation aids, assistive device, canes, elderly, gait, mobility limitation, physical activity monitoring, walking.

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Last Reviewed or Updated  Tuesday, December 11, 2012 9:37 AM

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