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J Biomech. 2018 Oct 5;79:218-222. doi: 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2018.07.039. Epub 2018 Aug 14.

Validation of gait event detection by centre of pressure during target stepping in healthy and paretic gait.

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Salford University, School of Health Science, Salford, United Kingdom, Ohio University, Health Sciences Professions, Athens, United States. Electronic address:
University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom. Electronic address:
Salford University, School of Health Science, Salford, United Kingdom. Electronic address:
Salford University, School of Health Science, Salford, United Kingdom. Electronic address:



Target-stepping paradigms are increasingly used to assess and train gait adaptability. Accurate gait-event detection (GED) is key to locating targets relative to the ongoing step cycle as well as measuring foot-placement error. In the current literature GED is either based on kinematics or centre of pressure (CoP), and both have been previously validated with young healthy individuals. However, CoP based GED has not been validated for stroke survivors who demonstrate altered CoP pattern.


Young healthy adults and individuals affected by stroke stepped to targets on a treadmill, while gait events were measured using three detection methods; verticies of CoP cyclograms, and two kinematic criteria, (1) vertical velocity and position and of the heel marker, (2) anterior velocity and position of the heel and toe marker, were used. The percentage of unmatched gait events was used to determine the success of the GED method. The difference between CoP and kinematic GED methods were tested with two one sample (two-tailed) t-tests against a reference value of zero. Differences between group and paretic and non-paretic leg were tested with a repeated measures ANOVA.


The kinematic method based on vertical velocity only detected about 80% of foot contact events on the paretic side in stroke survivors while the method on anterior velocity was more successful in both young healthy adults as stroke survivors (3% young healthy and 7% stroke survivors unmatched). Both kinematic methods detected gait events significantly earlier than CoP GED (p < 0.001) except for foot contact in stroke survivors based on the vertical velocity.


CoP GED may be more appropriate for gait analyses of SS than kinematic methods; even when walking and varying steps.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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