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Gait Posture. 2014 Apr;39(4):1034-9. doi: 10.1016/j.gaitpost.2014.01.003. Epub 2014 Jan 13.

Early identification of declining balance in higher functioning older adults, an inertial sensor based method.

Author information

1
Technology Research for Independent Living (TRIL), Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland. Electronic address: sheehakj@tcd.ie.
2
Technology Research for Independent Living (TRIL), University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland.
3
Technology Research for Independent Living (TRIL), Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland.
4
Technology Research for Independent Living (TRIL), Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland; St James's Hospital, Mercer's Institute for Successful Ageing, Dublin, Ireland.
5
Technology Research for Independent Living (TRIL), Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland; Trinity College Dublin, Department of Medical Gerontology, Dublin, Ireland; St James's Hospital, Mercer's Institute for Successful Ageing, Dublin, Ireland.

Abstract

Higher functioning older adults rarely have their balance assessed clinically and as such early decline in balance is not captured. Early identification of declining balance would facilitate earlier intervention and improved management of the ageing process. This study sought to determine if (a) a once off inertial sensor measurement and (b) changes in inertial sensor measurements one year apart can identify declining balance for higher functioning older adults. One hundred and nineteen community dwelling older adults (58 males; 72.5±5.8 years) completed a timed up and go (TUG) instrumented with inertial sensors and the Berg balance scale (BBS) at two time points, one year apart. Temporal and spatio-temporal gait parameters as well as angular velocity and turn parameters were derived from the inertial sensor data. A change in balance from baseline to follow-up was determined by sub-components of the BBS. Changes in inertial sensor parameters from baseline to follow-up demonstrated strong association with balance decline in higher functioning older adults (e.g. mean medial-lateral angular velocity odds ratio=0.2; 95% CI: 0.1-0.5). The area under the Receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) ranged from 0.8 to 0.9, a marked improvement over change in TUG time alone (AUC 0.6-0.7). Baseline inertial sensor parameters had a similar association with declining balance as age and TUG time. For higher functioning older adults, the change in inertial sensor parameters over time may reflect declining balance. These measures may be useful clinically, to monitor the balance status of older adults and facilitate earlier identification of balance deficits.

KEYWORDS:

Balance decline; Berg balance scale; Community dwelling older adults; Inertial sensors; Timed up and go

PMID:
24503180
DOI:
10.1016/j.gaitpost.2014.01.003
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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