Towards Mobile Gait Analysis: Concurrent Validity and Test-Retest Reliability of an Inertial Measurement System for the Assessment of Spatio-Temporal Gait Parameters
In order to provide effective test-retest and pooling of information from clinical gait analyses, it is critical to ensure that the data produced are as reliable as possible. Furthermore, it has been shown that anatomical marker placement is the largest source of inter-examiner variance in gait analyses. However, the effects of specific, known deviations in marker placement on calculated kinematic variables are unclear, and there is currently no mechanism to provide location-based feedback regarding placement consistency. The current study addresses these disparities by: applying a simulation of marker placement deviations to a large (n = 411) database of runners; evaluating a recently published method of morphometric-based deviation detection; and pilot-testing a system of location-based feedback for marker placements. Anatomical markers from a standing neutral trial were moved virtually by up to 30 mm to simulate deviations. Kinematic variables during running were then calculated using the original, and altered static trials. Results indicate that transverse plane angles at the knee and ankle are most sensitive to deviations in marker placement (7.59 degrees of change for every 10 mm of marker error), followed by frontal plane knee angles (5.17 degrees for every 10 mm). Evaluation of the deviation detection method demonstrated accuracies of up to 82% in classifying placements as deviant. Finally, pilot testing of a new methodology for providing location-based feedback demonstrated reductions of up to 80% in the deviation of outcome kinematics.