Sensitivity of accelerometry to assess balance control during sit-to-stand movement
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Accelerometry has the potential to measure balance, defined as high-frequency body sway, ambulatorily in a simple and inexpensive way. The aim of this study was to determine and compare the sensitivity of accelerometric balance parameters during the sit-to-stand (STS) movement. Eleven healthy subjects (four males, 28.2 ± 7.9 years) and 31 patients with stroke (21 males; 63.3 ± 12.8 years) were included. The healthy subjects performed STS movements in four conditions with different levels of difficulty. Data of the patients were compared 1) with healthy subjects, 2) between patient subgroups, and 3) between different phases of recovery to assess the sensitivity of accelerometry for differences in balance control. Accelerometers were attached to the trunk, and force plate measurements were simultaneously done in the healthy subjects. Main outcome measures were root mean square (rms) and area under the curve (AUC) derived from the high-frequency component of the transversal acceleration signal of the trunk. In all comparisons there was a significant difference in AUC data (p < 0.05), and AUC appeared to be more sensitive than rms. Variability in AUC was not completely or mainly the result of changes and differences in the duration of the STS movement. As a conclusion, accelerometry is a potentially valuable technique to measure balance during the STS movement.