JOURNAL ARTICLE

Postural control in the elderly: an analysis of test-retest and interrater reliability of the COP-COM variable

H Corriveau, R Hébert, F Prince, M Raîche
Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 2001, 82 (1): 80-5
11239290

OBJECTIVES: To estimate the test-retest and interrater reliability of the center of pressure-center of mass (COP-COM) variable of postural control in the elderly.

DESIGN: The biomechanic variable COP-COM, which represents the distance between the COP and the COM, was determined from 2 AMTI force platforms and 3 OPTOTRAK position sensors. Measurements were taken in quiet position, double leg stance, and eyes open and eyes closed conditions.

SETTING: Laboratory environment.

PARTICIPANTS: Forty-five healthy subjects, 8 patients with diabetes neuropathy, and 7 stroke survivors, all of whom were at least 60 years old.

INTERVENTIONS: Subjects were evaluated on 2 separate occasions within 7 days by the same evaluator to determine test-retest reliability. Interrater reliability was determined the same day.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The biomechanic variable COP-COM, which represents the distance between the COP and the COM in terms of root mean square. The mean of 4 trials of the COP-COM variable for each condition was used for statistical analysis. Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) were used.

RESULTS: The COP-COM variable has good reliability for both the test-retest and interrater studies, but its reliability varies according to the direction of the COP-COM. For the test-retest and interrater studies, the ICC ranged from.89 to.93 in the anteroposterior direction and from.74 to.79 in the mediolateral direction.

CONCLUSION: The equivalence of the test-retest and interrater coefficients obtained suggests that the measurement error of the COP-COM variable is mainly linked to the biologic variability of this measure over a short period of time. Using the mean of 4 trials stabilizes the COP-COM variable enough to be potentially used to evaluate clinical change.

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