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Sensors 2017, 17(4), 934; doi:10.3390/s17040934

Convergent Validity of a Wearable Sensor System for Measuring Sub-Task Performance during the Timed Up-and-Go Test

1
Faculty of Kinesiology, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, NB E3B5A3, Canada
2
Institute of Biomedical Engineering, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, NB E3B5A3, Canada
3
Stan Cassidy Centre for Rehabilitation, Fredericton, NB E3BOC7, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Edward Sazonov and Subhas Chandra Mukhopadhyay
Received: 17 January 2017 / Revised: 29 March 2017 / Accepted: 10 April 2017 / Published: 23 April 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wearable and Ambient Sensors for Healthcare and Wellness Applications)
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Abstract

Background: The timed-up-and-go test (TUG) is one of the most commonly used tests of physical function in clinical practice and for research outcomes. Inertial sensors have been used to parse the TUG test into its composite phases (rising, walking, turning, etc.), but have not validated this approach against an optoelectronic gold-standard, and to our knowledge no studies have published the minimal detectable change of these measurements. Methods: Eleven adults performed the TUG three times each under normal and slow walking conditions, and 3 m and 5 m walking distances, in a 12-camera motion analysis laboratory. An inertial measurement unit (IMU) with tri-axial accelerometers and gyroscopes was worn on the upper-torso. Motion analysis marker data and IMU signals were analyzed separately to identify the six main TUG phases: sit-to-stand, 1st walk, 1st turn, 2nd walk, 2nd turn, and stand-to-sit, and the absolute agreement between two systems analyzed using intra-class correlation (ICC, model 2) analysis. The minimal detectable change (MDC) within subjects was also calculated for each TUG phase. Results: The overall difference between TUG sub-tasks determined using 3D motion capture data and the IMU sensor data was <0.5 s. For all TUG distances and speeds, the absolute agreement was high for total TUG time and walk times (ICC > 0.90), but less for chair activity (ICC range 0.5–0.9) and typically poor for the turn time (ICC < 0.4). MDC values for total TUG time ranged between 2–4 s or 12–22% of the TUG time measurement. MDC of the sub-task times were higher proportionally, being 20–60% of the sub-task duration. Conclusions: We conclude that a commercial IMU can be used for quantifying the TUG phases with accuracy sufficient for clinical applications; however, the MDC when using inertial sensors is not necessarily improved over less sophisticated measurement tools. View Full-Text
Keywords: TUG; inertial sensor; motion analysis; activity of daily living; validity; repeatability; minimal detectable change TUG; inertial sensor; motion analysis; activity of daily living; validity; repeatability; minimal detectable change
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Beyea, J.; McGibbon, C.A.; Sexton, A.; Noble, J.; O’Connell, C. Convergent Validity of a Wearable Sensor System for Measuring Sub-Task Performance during the Timed Up-and-Go Test. Sensors 2017, 17, 934.

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