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Validity and reliability of the Swaymeter device for measuring postural sway

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Author(s): Sturnieks Daina | Arnold Ria | Lord Stephen

Journal: BMC Geriatrics
ISSN 1471-2318

Volume: 11;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 63;
Date: 2011;
Original page

ABSTRACT
Abstract Background This study aimed to examine: 1) Swaymeter concurrent validity in discriminating between young and older adult populations; 2) Swaymeter convergent validity against a forceplate system; and 3) the immediate test-retest repeatability of postural sway measures obtained from the Swaymeter. Methods Twenty-nine older adults aged 71 to 83 years and 11 young adults aged 22 to 47 years had postural sway measured simultaneously with the Swaymeter and a forceplate for three repeat 30 second trials, under four conditions (floor eyes open, floor eyes closed, foam eyes open, foam eyes closed). Results Age-related differences in sway parameters across the four conditions were evident using the Swaymeter. Moderate-to-good correlations were found between Swaymeter and forceplate sway measures across conditions (r = 0.560-0.865). Good agreement between the Swaymeter and forceplate were found for anteroposterior and mediolateral sway displacement measures (average offset = 6 mm). Sway path length measures were longer for the forceplate compared to the Swaymeter (average offset = 376 mm), but these data showed good agreement following log-transformation. The Swaymeter was reliable across trials, with intraclass correlation coefficients ranging from 0.654 to 0.944. Conclusions The Swaymeter is a reliable tool for assessing postural sway and discriminates between performance of young and older people across multiple sensory conditions.
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