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JOURNAL ARTICLE

Validity and inter-rater reliability of inertial gait measurements in Parkinson's disease: a pilot study

Patrick Esser, Helen Dawes, Johnny Collett, Max G Feltham, Ken Howells
Journal of Neuroscience Methods 2012 March 30, 205 (1): 177-81
22269595
Walking models driven by centre of mass (CoM) data obtained from inertial measurement units (IMU) or optical motion capture systems (OMCS) can be used to objectively measure gait. However current models have only been validated within typical developed adults (TDA). The purpose of this study was to compare the projected CoM movement within Parkinson's disease (PD) measured by an IMU with data collected from an OMCS after which spatio-temporal gait measures were derived using an inverted pendulum model. The inter-rater reliability of spatio-temporal parameters was explored between expert researchers and clinicians using the IMU processed data. Participants walked 10 m with an IMU attached over their centre of mass which was simultaneously recorded by an OMCS. Data was collected on two occasions, each by an expert researcher and clinician. Ten people with PD showed no difference (p=0.13) for vertical, translatory acceleration, velocity and relative position of the projected centre of mass between IMU and OMCS data. Furthermore no difference (p=0.18) was found for the derived step time, stride length and walking speed for people with PD. Measurements of step time (p=0.299), stride length (p=0.883) and walking speed (p=0.751) did not differ between experts and clinicians. There was good inter-rater reliability for these parameters (ICC3.1=0.979, ICC3.1=0.958 and ICC3.1=0.978, respectively). The findings are encouraging and support the use of IMUs by clinicians to measure CoM movement in people with PD.

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