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Open AccessArticle

Revisiting the Instrumented Romberg Test: Can Today’s Technology Offer a Risk-of-Fall Screening Device for Senior Citizens? An Experience-Based Approach

1
Eng. Freelance MD Consultant, Sal. Maggiolo di Nervi, 16167 Genoa, Italy
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Ben-Essere Sport and Wellness Association Rapallo, Third-Sector Liguria Region Registry, 16135 Genoa, Italy
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ASL 4 Liguria (Liguria Regional Health Service), Sports Medicine, N.S. di Montallegro Hospital, 16035 Rapallo, Italy
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ASL 4 Liguria (Liguria Regional Health Service), Geriatric Service, Chiavari, 16043 Chiavari, Italy
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Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Sassari, 07100 Sassari, Italy
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Faculty of Medicine and Dental Surgery, Sapienza University of Rome, 00185 Rome, Italy
7
Chinesis I.F.O.P. Istituto di Formazione in Osteopatia e in Posturologia, Osteopathy School, 00152 Rome, Italy
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Department of Neurosciences, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation School, University of Padua, 35128 Padua, Italy
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Rehabilitation Unit, Laboratory of Robotic and Bioengineering and Clinical of Movement, Padua University-General Hospital, 35128 Padua, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Life 2021, 11(2), 161; https://doi.org/10.3390/life11020161
Received: 23 January 2021 / Revised: 9 February 2021 / Accepted: 12 February 2021 / Published: 20 February 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Medical Research)
Risk of fall (ROF) is a worldwide major concern for its prevalence and consequent dramatic outcomes in the elderly population. The growing age-related risk appears to be associated with increasing motor, sensory, and cognitive problems in the elderly population. There is a consensus on the need to screen for these balance dysfunctions, but the available methods are largely based on subjectively assessed performances. The instrumented Romberg test using a force plate represents a validated assessment process for the evaluation of balance performances. The purpose of this study is to propose an innovative instrumental method to identify balance deficits, assess their severity, and give an automated indication of the most likely etiology. The proposed new method was applied to the instrumented Romberg test, using force plate data recorded in a cohort of 551 females aged >65 participating in adapted physical activity courses. The method allowed us to identify 145 dysfunctional subjects and to determine the likely origin of their deficit: 21 central, 5 vestibular, 9 visual, 59 proprioceptive (musculoskeletal etiology), and 51 functional. Based on the preliminary findings of the study, this test could be an efficient and cost-effective mass screening tool for identifying subjects at risk of fall, since the procedure proves to be rapid, non-invasive, and apparently devoid of any contraindications. View Full-Text
Keywords: risk-of-fall; balance; postural control; unperturbed upright stance; force plate; Romberg test risk-of-fall; balance; postural control; unperturbed upright stance; force plate; Romberg test
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MDPI and ACS Style

Gallamini, M.; Piastra, G.; Lucarini, S.; Porzio, D.; Ronchi, M.; Pirino, A.; Scoppa, F.; Masiero, S.; Tognolo, L. Revisiting the Instrumented Romberg Test: Can Today’s Technology Offer a Risk-of-Fall Screening Device for Senior Citizens? An Experience-Based Approach. Life 2021, 11, 161. https://doi.org/10.3390/life11020161

AMA Style

Gallamini M, Piastra G, Lucarini S, Porzio D, Ronchi M, Pirino A, Scoppa F, Masiero S, Tognolo L. Revisiting the Instrumented Romberg Test: Can Today’s Technology Offer a Risk-of-Fall Screening Device for Senior Citizens? An Experience-Based Approach. Life. 2021; 11(2):161. https://doi.org/10.3390/life11020161

Chicago/Turabian Style

Gallamini, Michele; Piastra, Giorgio; Lucarini, Simonetta; Porzio, Debora; Ronchi, Matteo; Pirino, Alessio; Scoppa, Fabio; Masiero, Stefano; Tognolo, Lucrezia. 2021. "Revisiting the Instrumented Romberg Test: Can Today’s Technology Offer a Risk-of-Fall Screening Device for Senior Citizens? An Experience-Based Approach" Life 11, no. 2: 161. https://doi.org/10.3390/life11020161

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