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JOURNAL ARTICLE

Reliability and validity of the Microsoft Kinect for evaluating static foot posture

Benjamin F Mentiplay, Ross A Clark, Alexandra Mullins, Adam L Bryant, Simon Bartold, Kade Paterson
Journal of Foot and Ankle Research 2013, 6 (1): 14
23566934

BACKGROUND: The evaluation of foot posture in a clinical setting is useful to screen for potential injury, however disagreement remains as to which method has the greatest clinical utility. An inexpensive and widely available imaging system, the Microsoft Kinect™, may possess the characteristics to objectively evaluate static foot posture in a clinical setting with high accuracy. The aim of this study was to assess the intra-rater reliability and validity of this system for assessing static foot posture.

METHODS: Three measures were used to assess static foot posture; traditional visual observation using the Foot Posture Index (FPI), a 3D motion analysis (3DMA) system and software designed to collect and analyse image and depth data from the Kinect. Spearman's rho was used to assess intra-rater reliability and concurrent validity of the Kinect to evaluate foot posture, and a linear regression was used to examine the ability of the Kinect to predict total visual FPI score.

RESULTS: The Kinect demonstrated moderate to good intra-rater reliability for four FPI items of foot posture (ρ = 0.62 to 0.78) and moderate to good correlations with the 3DMA system for four items of foot posture (ρ = 0.51 to 0.85). In contrast, intra-rater reliability of visual FPI items was poor to moderate (ρ = 0.17 to 0.63), and correlations with the Kinect and 3DMA systems were poor (absolute ρ = 0.01 to 0.44). Kinect FPI items with moderate to good reliability predicted 61% of the variance in total visual FPI score.

CONCLUSIONS: The majority of the foot posture items derived using the Kinect were more reliable than the traditional visual assessment of FPI, and were valid when compared to a 3DMA system. Individual foot posture items recorded using the Kinect were also shown to predict a moderate degree of variance in the total visual FPI score. Combined, these results support the future potential of the Kinect to accurately evaluate static foot posture in a clinical setting.

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