Development of a perturbation protocol to quantity gait resilience using mechanical, visual and auditory perturbations: A case study
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Roeles, S., Tarfali, G., Steenbrink, F., Childs, C. & Rowe, P. (2015) Development of a perturbation protocol to quantity gait resilience using mechanical, visual and auditory perturbations: A case study [Oral Presentation]. In: XXV Congress of the International Society of Biomechanics, Glasgow, 12-16 July.
Falls are the leading cause of death due to injury in the elderly and therefore a major problem in our aging society. In order to prevent falls it is of great importance that clinicians are able to identify those who are at risk of falling and intervene early. However, capturing gait instability is difficult as the human body is well capable of compensating for impairments and hence it is difficult to distinguish fallers from non-fallers during steady state walking using currently available stability measures1. Most falls in the elderly occur during locomotion as gait resilience is compromised due to aging and therefore the ability to resist external perturbations during walking is also decreased. Measuring the response to external perturbations has been proposed to quantify dynamic stability and to identify fall-risk. However, perturbations used in these studies are unlikely to occur in everyday life and are dangerous and difficult to monitor. Little is known about the type of experimental perturbations that could be used for diagnosis of fallers . Therefore, the aim of this study is to evaluate the feasibility of a protocol that mimics perturbations encountered in daily life like, a push, a trip, a slip, sudden darkness or a loud noise