31. March 2017:
Data from the iStoppFalls gait analysis have been published in the International Journal of Geriatric Gerontology, which is available here:
between clinical gait and daily-life gait assessments of fall risk in older
BACKGROUND: Falls are a leading cause of
disability in older people. Here we investigate if daily-life gait assessments
are better than clinical gait assessments at discriminating between older
people with and without a history of falls.
total of 96 independent-living participants (age 75.5 ± 7.8) underwent
sensorimotor, psychological and cognitive assessments, and the Timed Up and Go
and 10-m walk tests. Participants wore a small pendant sensor device for a week
in their home environment, from which the new remote assessments of daily-life
gait were determined.
daily-life, fallers had significantly lower gait quality (lower gait endurance,
higher within-walk variability and lower between-walk adaptability), but not
reduced gait quantity (total steps) or gait intensity (mean cadence). In the
clinic, fallers had slower Timed Up and Go, but not 10-m walk test times. After
adjusting for demographics, only the daily-life assessments of gait endurance
and within-walk variability remained significant. Reduced daily-life gait
assessments were significantly correlated with older age, higher body mass
index, multiple medications, disability, more concern about falling, poor
executive function and higher physiological fall risk.
The new daily-life gait assessments were better than the clinical gait
assessments at identifying fall risk in our sample of independent living older
people. However, further research is required to validate these findings in
other populations or those living in residential aged care. Daily-life gait was
not only associated with demographics and physiological capacity, but also
general health, executive function and the ability to undertake a variety of
activities of daily living without excessive concern about falling.
Consortium Members of the
iStoppFalls project are: University of Siegen (coordinator), German Sport
University Cologne, Neuroscience Research Australia, Austrian Institute of
Technology, Instituto de Biomecánica de Valencia, Philips Research Europe and
Kaasa Solution. This project has received
funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research,
technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no .
The Australian arm is funded
by Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) EU
collaboration grant (#1038210).