Thursday, 27 December 2012

Research: Monitoring Movement

Epub: Motl et al. Accelerometry as a measure of walking behavior in multiple sclerosis. Acta Neurol Scand. 2012. doi: 10.1111/ane.12036.

OBJECTIVE: Accelerometry has been identified as a possible ecologically valid and objective approach for measuring community ambulation inmultiple sclerosis (MS). This study provides a validation of accelerometer output based on associations with Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS), Patient Determined Disease Steps (PDDS) Scale, and Multiple Sclerosis Walking Scale-12 (MSWS-12) scores, timed 25-foot walk (T25FW) and 6-min walk (6MW) performance, oxygen cost (O(2) cost) of walking, and spatial and temporal parameters of gait.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: 256 persons with MS completed the PDDS and MSWS-12, underwent an examination for the generation of an EDSS score, undertook two T25FW tests and a 6MW while wearing a portable metabolic unit for measuring the O(2) cost of walking, completed two trials of comfortable walking on a GAITRite electronic walkway for measuring spatial and temporal parameters of gait, and then wore an Actigraph accelerometer during the waking hours of a 7-day period.

RESULTS: The accelerometer output was significantly correlated with EDSS (ρ = -0.522), PDDS (ρ = -0.551), and MSWS-12 (ρ = -0.617) scores, T25FW (ρ = -0.595) and 6MW (ρ = 0.630) performance, and O(2) cost of walking (ρ = -0.457). Regarding gait parameters, the accelerometer output was significantly correlated with velocity (ρ = 0.420), cadence (ρ = 0.349), step time (ρ = -0.353), step length (ρ = 0.395), double support (ρ = -0.424), and single support (ρ = 0.400).

CONCLUSION: We provide comprehensive evidence from a large sample of persons with MS that further supports accelerometry as a measure of walking behaviour.

Accelerometry measures motion and there are loads of devices that can pick this up as was shown previously by work from Team G. Yet more ways to get qualitative measures of mobility. At some stage neurology and assessment of MS will move into the 21st century. 

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