Background. Gait characteristics extracted from trunk accelerations during daily life locomotion are complementary to questionnaire- or laboratory-based gait and balance assessments and may help to improve fall risk prediction. Objective. The aim of this study was to identify gait characteristics that are associated with self-reported fall history and that can be reliably assessed based on ambulatory data collected during a single week. Methods. We analyzed 2 weeks of trunk acceleration data (DynaPort MoveMonitor, McRoberts) collected among 113 older adults (age range, 65-97 years). During episodes of locomotion, various gait characteristics were determined, including local dynamic stability, interstride variability, and several spectral features. For each characteristic, we performed a negative binomial regression analysis with the participants' self-reported number of falls in the preceding year as outcome. Reliability of gait characteristics was assessed in terms of intraclass correlations between both measurement weeks. Results. The percentages of spectral power below 0.7 Hz along the vertical and anteroposterior axes and below 10 Hz along the mediolateral axis, as well as local dynamic stability, local dynamic stability per stride, gait smoothness, and the amplitude and slope of the dominant frequency along the vertical axis, were associated with the number of falls in the preceding year and could be reliably assessed (all P < .05, intraclass correlation > 0.75). Conclusions. Daily life gait characteristics are associated with fall history in older adults and can be reliably estimated from a week of ambulatory trunk acceleration measurements.
Rispens, S. M., van Schooten, K. S., Pijnappels, M. A. G. M., Daffertshofer, A., Beek, P. J., & van Dieen, J. H. (2015). Identification of fall risk predictors in daily life measurements gait characteristics’ reliability and association with self-reported fall history. Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair, 29(1), 54-61. https://doi.org/10.1177/1545968314532031