Reliability and validity of an accelerometry based measure of static and dynamic postural stability in healthy and active individuals.
Postural stability is an important measure in both research and clinical practice. A portable, easy to use device that can provide higher resolution than current clinical tests may allow for better identification of patients or athletes with postural stability deficits. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the ability of a tri-axial accelerometer to quantify postural stability in a healthy athletic population. Ten subjects were recruited to determine the reliability of the accelerometer to measure dynamic postural stability and thirteen were recruited to compare the accelerometer measures across tasks of varying difficulty. Subjects were asked to complete four static postural stability tasks with eyes open and eyes closed and two dynamic postural stability tasks for a total of ten tasks. During each task postural stability was measured using a tri-axial accelerometer and force platform. Differences between postural stability scores between tasks and the correlation between the two measures were assessed. The accelerometer demonstrated moderate to good test-retest reliability (ICC=0.732 to 0.899). Only the medial-lateral axis of the accelerometer showed significant differences between static tasks but all directions were able to show significant differences between static and dynamic tasks. Additionally, Spearman's ranked correlations showed little to no correlation between the accelerometer and force platform scores. Accelerometers are a reliability tool for postural stability that measure low difficulty tasks best in the medial-lateral direction. Low correlation between the accelerometer and force platform suggest that these two methods are not measuring the same components of postural stability.
Heebner, NR; Akins, JS; Lephart, SM; Sell, TC
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