Differentiating fallers from nonfallers using nonlinear variability analyses of data from a low-cost portable footswitch device: a feasibility study

Arash Mohammadzadeh Gonabadi, Prokopios Antonellis, Philippe Malcolm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: Falls are one of the main causes of injuries in older adults. This study evaluated a lowcost footswitch device that was designed to measure gait variability and investigates whether there are any relationships between variability metrics and clinical balance tests for individuals with a history of previous falls. Methods: Sixteen older adults completed a history of falls questionnaire, three functional tests related to fall risk, and walked on a treadmill with the footswitch device. We extracted the stride times from the device and applied two nonlinear variability analyses: coefficient of variation and detrended fluctuation analysis. Results: The temporal variables and variability metrics from the footswitch device correlated with gold-standard measurements based on ground reaction force data. One variability metric (detrended fluctuation analysis) showed a significant relationship with the presence of past falls with a sensitivity of 43%. Conclusion: This feasibility study demonstrates the basis for using low-cost footswitch devices to predict fall risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)139-145
Number of pages7
JournalActa of Bioengineering and Biomechanics
Volume23
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Aging
  • Balance
  • Falls
  • Nonlinear dynamics
  • Variability
  • Walking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering

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