Assessing gait stability: the influence of state space reconstruction on inter- and intra-day reliability of local dynamic stability during over-ground walking

Kimberley S van Schooten, Sietse M Rispens, Mirjam Pijnappels, Andreas Daffertshofer, Jaap H van Dieen
Journal of Biomechanics 2013 January 4, 46 (1): 137-41
Estimating local dynamic stability is considered a powerful approach to identify persons with balance impairments. Its validity has been studied extensively, and provides evidence that short-term local dynamic stability is related to balance impairments and the risk of falling. Thus far, however, this relation has only been proven on group level. For clinical use, differences on the individual level should also be detectable, requiring reliability to be high. In the current study, reliability of short-term local dynamic stability was investigated within and between days. Participants walked 500 m back and forth on a straight outdoor footpath, on 2 non-consecutive days, and 3D linear accelerations were measured using an accelerometer (DynaPort MiniMod). The state space was reconstructed using 4 common approaches, all based on delay embedding. Within-session intra-class correlation coefficients were good (≥0.70), however between-session intra-class correlation coefficients were poor to moderate (≤0.63) and influenced by the reconstruction method. The same holds for the smallest detectable difference, which ranged from 17% to 46% depending on the state space reconstruction method. The best within- and between-session intra-class correlation coefficients and smallest detectable differences were achieved with a state space reconstruction with a fixed time delay and number of embedding dimensions. Overall, due to the influence of biological variation and measurement error, the short-term local dynamic stability can only be used to detect substantial differences on the individual level.

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