BACKGROUND: Accurate measurement of physical behaviour is paramount to better understand lifestyle, health, and functioning, particularly in adults with physical disability as they may be at higher risk of sedentary lifestyle and subsequent negative health consequences. This study aimed: 1) to evaluate the criterion validity of a novel and clinically applicable activity monitor (AM, Activ8), in the detection of body postures and movements in adults with spastic cerebral palsy (CP); and 2) to evaluate the extent that the AM's positioning affects validity. METHODS: In this cross-sectional study, 14 ambulatory adults with CP [9 men; mean (SD) age, 35.4 (13.1) years] performed standardized activities while wearing three Activ8 monitors - frontolateral thigh (primary position), frontal thigh, and pant pocket - and being video recorded (criterion measure). AM activity output was compared to synchronized video recordings. Absolute (seconds) and relative [(video time-AM time)/mean time, %] time differences between methods were calculated. Relative time differences of < 10% were indicative of good validity. Comparison of AM attachment positions was completed using Spearman Rho correlation coefficients and Meng's tests. RESULTS: Criterion validity of the AM (frontolateral thigh) was good (average relative time differences: 0.25% for sitting, 4.69% for standing, 2.46% for walking, 1.96% for upright activity, 3.19% for cycling), except for running (34.6%). Spearman Rho correlation coefficients were greater between video/frontolateral thigh position than video/frontal thigh position and video/pant pocket position for body posture and movement categories sitting, standing, walking, and upright activity (p < 0.01 for all). CONCLUSIONS: The AM, positioned on the frontolateral thigh, demonstrated good criterion validity in ambulatory adults with CP. Though the Activ8 offers potential as an objective measure of physical activity, appropriate positioning is paramount for valid measurement.

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Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine

Claridge, E.A. (Everett A.), van den Berg-Emons, R., Horemans, H., van der Slot, W., van der Stam, N. (Nick), Tang, A. (Ada), … Bussmann, H. (2019). Detection of body postures and movements in ambulatory adults with cerebral palsy: a novel and valid measure of physical behaviour. Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation, 16(1). doi:10.1186/s12984-019-0594-9