OBJECTIVE: To classify and assess techniques for measuring the amount of weight bearing during standing and walking. BACKGROUND: A large variety of weight bearing measuring techniques exists. This review describes their advantages and limitations to assist clinicians and researchers in selecting a technique for their specific application in measuring weight bearing. METHODS: A literature search was performed in Pubmed-Medline, CINAHL, and EMBASE. Measurement techniques were classified in 'clinical examination', 'scales', 'biofeedback systems', 'ambulatory devices' and 'platforms', and assessed on aspects of methodological quality, application, and feasibility. RESULTS: A total of 68 related articles was evaluated. The clinical examination technique is a crude method to estimate the amount of weight bearing. Scales are useful for static measurements to evaluate symmetry in weight bearing. Biofeedback systems give more reliable, accurate and objective data on weight bearing compared to clinical examination and scales, but the high costs could limit their use in physical therapy departments. The ambulatory devices can measure weight bearing with good accuracy and reliability in the hospital and at home. Platforms have the best methodological quality, but are mostly restricted to a gait laboratory, need trained personnel, and are expensive. CONCLUSIONS: The choice of a technique largely depends upon the criteria discussed in this review; however the clinical utilisation, the research question posed, and the available budget also play a role. The new developments seen in the field of 'ambulatory devices' are aimed at extending measuring time, and improved practicality in data collection and data analysis. For these latter devices, however, mainly preliminary studies have been published about devices that are not (yet) commercially available.

Feedback, Humans, Monitoring, Ambulatory/instrumentation/*methods, Movement/physiology, Physical Examination/instrumentation/*methods, Posture/*physiology, Pressure, Stress, Mechanical, Walking/*physiology, Weight-Bearing/*physiology
dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0268-0033(03)00116-5, hdl.handle.net/1765/15629
Clinical Biomechanics
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Hurkmans, H.L.P, Bussmann, J.B.J, Benda, E, Verhaar, J.A.N, & Stam, H.J. (2003). Techniques for measuring weight bearing during standing and walking. Clinical Biomechanics (Vol. 18, pp. 576–589). doi:10.1016/S0268-0033(03)00116-5