Preprint Article Version 1 NOT YET PEER-REVIEWED

Case-Based Study of Metrics Derived from Instrumented Fall Risk Assessment Tests

  1. ESTeSC Coimbra Health School, Physiotherapy Department, Coimbra 3046-854, Portugal
  2. Fraunhofer Portugal AICOS, Porto 4200-135, Portugal
  3. Sensing Future Technologies, Coimbra 3030-199, Portugal
Version 1 : Received: 12 August 2016 / Approved: 12 August 2016 / Online: 12 August 2016 (09:32:28 CEST)

How to cite: Martins, A.; Silva, J.; Santos, A.; Madureira, J.; Alcobia, C.; Ferreira, L.; Mendes, P.; Tonelo, C.; Silva, C.; Baltazar, D.; Sousa, I. Case-Based Study of Metrics Derived from Instrumented Fall Risk Assessment Tests. Preprints 2016, 2016080132 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201608.0132.v1). Martins, A.; Silva, J.; Santos, A.; Madureira, J.; Alcobia, C.; Ferreira, L.; Mendes, P.; Tonelo, C.; Silva, C.; Baltazar, D.; Sousa, I. Case-Based Study of Metrics Derived from Instrumented Fall Risk Assessment Tests. Preprints 2016, 2016080132 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201608.0132.v1).

Abstract

Purpose: National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has recently published quality standards for assessment of fall risk and preventing further falls. According to the standards, multifactorial fall risk assessments should include: identification of falls history; analysis of gait, balance, mobility and muscle strength, among other factors. Despite being based on subjective analysis or simple timing and not being multifactorial, physiotherapists and physicians quite often use these tests as reference scales to differentiate between lower and higher risk of falling. Instrumented TUG has been recently reported to provide important additional information to the overall score. Objective: To explore a case-based approach of fall risk assessment to identify the most relevant and informative risk factors that in combination could better define a person risk profile. Materials and Methods: A multifactorial assessment of fall risk through questionnaires, standard functional tests, tests instrumented with inertial sensors, and force platforms has been studied within a group aged 55-80 years old. Different fall risk factors and fall risk assessment methods were analyzed in a case-based descriptive study. Results & Discussion: Subjects at higher risk of falling were identified based on their detailed profiles. A set of features were obtained from the instrumented standard tests differing significantly between subjects presenting higher or lower fall risk. Therefore, instrumenting conventional tests with wearables containing inertial sensors and force platforms gives more detailed and quantitative insights. This information can be used to better define and tailor fall prevention exercises and to improve the follow-up of the evolution of the subject.

Subject Areas

fall risk assessment; risk of falling; force platforms; inertial sensors.

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