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Concurrent Validity of Inertially Sensed Measures during Voluntary Body Sway in Silence and while Exposed to a Rhythmic Acoustic Stimulus: A Pilot Study

  • Emmanouil, Analina
  • Rousanoglou, Elissavet
  • Georgaki, Anastasia
  • Boudolos, Konstantinos
Published Article
Digital Biomarkers
S. Karger AG
Publication Date
Mar 23, 2021
DOI: 10.1159/000514325
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Introduction: The effect of rhythmic acoustic stimuli on body sway is of increasing interest due to their positive contribution when training or restoring the control of movement. Inertial sensors show promise as a portable, easier, and more affordable method compared to the force plate “gold standard” concerning the evaluation of postural sway. This study examined the concurrent validity of inertially sensed measures of voluntary body sway against those obtained with a force plate, in silence and while exposed to a rhythmic acoustic stimulus. Methods: Temporal (sway duration and variability) and spatial (trajectory length, variability, range, velocity, and area) body sway variables were extracted using an inertial sensor (at L5) in synchronization with a force plate, during anteroposterior body sway in silence and while exposed to a rhythmic acoustic stimulus (n = 18 young women; two 70-s trials in each condition). Statistics included bivariate correlations between the inertially sensed and the force plate measures, separately, in silence and with a rhythmic acoustic stimulus, as well as for the effect of the rhythmic acoustic stimulus (percentage difference from silence) (p ≤ 0.05, SPSS v25.0). Results: The inertially sensed measures demonstrated good-to-excellent concurrent validity for all temporal and almost all spatial variables, both in silence and with rhythmic acoustic stimulus (r > 0.75, p = 0.000), as well as for the rhythmic acoustic-stimulus effect (r > 0.75, p ≤ 0.05). Conclusion: The inertially sensed measures of the voluntary anteroposterior body sway demonstrated an overall good-to-excellent concurrent validity against those obtained with the force plate “gold standard,” both in the silence and the rhythmic acoustic stimulus conditions, as well as for the rhythmic acoustic-stimulus effect. The findings of this pilot study allow the recommendation of inertial sensing for the evaluation of postural control alterations when exposed to rhythmic acoustic stimuli, a condition of increasing interest due to the positive contribution of such stimuli when training or restoring the control of movement.

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