Conference Paper

Use of wearable technology to quantify fall risk in psychogeriatric environments: a feasability study

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Fall incidents with elderly suffering from psychological pathologies, in combination with a comorbidity of clinical problems are highly prevalent. In our research setting, the psychiatric hospital OPZ in Geel, Belgium, 1790 fall incidents were recorded with 283 patients since 2013. The nature of the patients' profiles makes a valid, objective fall risk assessment very difficult; for them, instructions to perform the tests are difficult to understand and execute. Therefore, the currently used instruments are not suited for this complex situation. In this study we propose an alternative system for the assessment of fall risk for patients of a psychogeriatric ward. We also study the essential precautions needed for acceptance of wearables in this complex setting.We collected individual daily mean gait speeds of 17 patients at a psychogeriatric ward over a period of five months. We show that it is possible, using wearable technology, to measure individual gait speed. We also show that it is possible to have the wearable technology accepted by the target group. The results obtained so far are promising to use automatical gait measurement to correlate to the currently used risk assessment tests and to eventually replace these tests.

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Survival estimates help individualize goals of care for geriatric patients, but life tables fail to account for the great variability in survival. Physical performance measures, such as gait speed, might help account for variability, allowing clinicians to make more individualized estimates. To evaluate the relationship between gait speed and survival. Pooled analysis of 9 cohort studies (collected between 1986 and 2000), using individual data from 34,485 community-dwelling older adults aged 65 years or older with baseline gait speed data, followed up for 6 to 21 years. Participants were a mean (SD) age of 73.5 (5.9) years; 59.6%, women; and 79.8%, white; and had a mean (SD) gait speed of 0.92 (0.27) m/s. Survival rates and life expectancy. There were 17,528 deaths; the overall 5-year survival rate was 84.8% (confidence interval [CI], 79.6%-88.8%) and 10-year survival rate was 59.7% (95% CI, 46.5%-70.6%). Gait speed was associated with survival in all studies (pooled hazard ratio per 0.1 m/s, 0.88; 95% CI, 0.87-0.90; P < .001). Survival increased across the full range of gait speeds, with significant increments per 0.1 m/s. At age 75, predicted 10-year survival across the range of gait speeds ranged from 19% to 87% in men and from 35% to 91% in women. Predicted survival based on age, sex, and gait speed was as accurate as predicted based on age, sex, use of mobility aids, and self-reported function or as age, sex, chronic conditions, smoking history, blood pressure, body mass index, and hospitalization. In this pooled analysis of individual data from 9 selected cohorts, gait speed was associated with survival in older adults.
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The feasibility and predictive validity of balance and gait measures in more severe stages of dementia have been understudied. We evaluated the clinimetric properties of the Tinetti Performance Oriented Mobility Assessment (POMA) in nursing home residents with dementia with a specific objective of predicting falls in the short term. Seventy-five ambulatory nursing home residents with dementia, mean age 81 +/- 8 years, participated in a prospective cohort study. All participants underwent the full POMA-test. Fall statistics were retrieved from incident reports during a three-months follow-up period. The predictive validity was expressed in terms of sensitivity and specificity. Loglinear regression analysis was used to examine the relationship between POMA scores and the occurrence of a fall. The POMA showed several feasibility problems, with 41% of patients having problems in understanding one or more instructions. The inter-rater reliability of the instrument was good. The predictive validity was acceptable, with a sensitivity of 70-85% and a specificity of 51-61% for the POMA and its subtests, and an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.70 for POMA-Total (95% CI: 0.53-0.81), 0.67 for POMA-Balance (95% CI: 0.52-0.81), and 0.67 for POMA-Gait (95% CI: 0.53-0.81). After loglinear regression analysis, only POMA-T was significant in predicting a fall (adjusted HR = 1.08 per point lower; 95% CI 1.00-1.17). Application of the POMA in populations with moderate to severe dementia is hampered by feasibility problems. Its implementation in clinical practice cannot therefore be recommended, despite an acceptable predictive validity. To refine our findings, large prospective studies on the predictive validity of the POMA in populations with mild, moderate and severe dementia are needed. In addition, the performance of mobility assessment methods that are less dependent on cognition should be evaluated.
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Much is known about human walking, but it is not known how walking is used during typical activities. Since improving walking ability is a key goal in many surgical, pharmacological, and physiotherapeutic interventions, understanding typical community mobility demands regarding the length of walking bouts, the number of sequential steps frequently performed, and the duration of common nonwalking (rest) behavior seems prudent. This study documents the gait of daily living in 10 nondisabled employed adults to define walking bout duration, sequential step counts, and length of rest periods over a 2-week period. Subjects wore a StepWatch Activity Monitor (OrthoCare Innovations; Mountlake Terrace, Washington) that counted steps in each 10-second time window. Custom code summed sequential steps, periods of walking behavior (bouts), and periods without steps (rest). Sixty percent of all walking bouts lasted just 30 seconds or less; a 2-minute walking bout was just 1 percent of total walking bouts. Forty percent of all walking bouts were less than 12 steps in a row, and 75 percent of all walking bouts were less than 40 steps in a row. Rest periods were predominantly very short, with half of all rests periods lasting 20 seconds or less. The community mobility demand for nondisabled employed adults appears to involve frequent short-duration walking behavior with low numbers of sequential steps strung together and many short-duration nonwalking (rest) behaviors.
Background. For single gait tasks, associations have been reported between gait speed and cognitive domains. However, few studies have evaluated if this association is altered in dual gait tasks given gait speed changes with complexity and nature of task. We evaluated relative contributions of specific elements of cognitive function (including sustained attention and processing speed) to dual task gait speed in a nationally representative population of community-dwelling adults over 50 years. Methods. Gait speed was obtained using the GaitRite walkway during three gait tasks: single, cognitive (alternate letters), and motor (carrying a filled glass). Linear regression models, adjusted for covariates, were constructed to predict the relative contributions of seven neuropsychological tests to gait speed differences and to investigate gait task effects.
Health of the Nation Outcome Scales (HoNOS) have been developed to measure of outcomes in people with mental health problems. The particular physical and cognitive problems affecting older people requires a specific scale for their measurement. We describe the development of such a scale, named HoNOS 65+. Pilot, validity and reliability studies were carried out on an amended scale. Validity was assessed by comparison with existing scales reflecting depression, cognitive function, psychiatric symptomatology, activities of daily living and functional abilities. Reliability was measured in two centres. HoNOS 65+ was successfully amended to include specific aspects of mental health problems in older people including the phenomenology of depression, delusions occurring in the presence of dementia, incontinence and agitation/restlessness. HoNOS 65+ was able to discriminate between people suffering from organic and functional illnesses. Correlations with other scales indicated reasonable validity. Reliability was satisfactory. Aversion of HoNOS 65+ is presented (see pp. 435-438, this issue) which is appropriate for use in elderly people with mental health problems.
Many people experience a decline in mobility with aging. The multiple chronic diseases and disabilities responsible for this decline also may predispose to falling. This decline is well recognized by clinicians caring for elderly patients. The Canadian Task Force on the Periodic Health Examination not only recognized the problem, but concluded that assessing physical, social, and psychologic functions as they impact on 'Progressive Incapacity with Aging' was the most important assessment for patients over age 75. Prominent among their list of potentially preventable impairments were locomotory, sensory, and cognitive functions, each of which is intricately related to mobility. The Canadian Task Force further stated that protection of abilities should be emphasized over diagnosis. They believed that establishing the optimal content of the assessment was a high research priority. The purpose of the following discussion is to address the question of content of a functional mobility assessment appropriate for elderly patients. The limitations of relying solely on either a disease-oriented or a gait analytic approach are outlined. A practical performance-oriented assessment of mobility is described that incorporates useful features of both approaches. The recommended evaluation centers on the more effective use of readily (and frequently) obtained clinical data. Although limited to a discussion of ambulation as the expected mode of mobility (necessary because of space limitations), many of the concepts apply to other modes as well (eg, wheelchair).
Gait speed and survival in older adults
  • Subashan Stephanie A Studenski
  • Kushang Perera
  • Caterina Patel
  • Kimberly Rosano
  • Marco Faulkner
  • Jennifer Inzitari
  • Julie Brach
  • Peggy Chandler
  • Elizabeth Barrett Cawthon
  • Michael Connor
  • Marjolein Nevitt
  • Stephen Visser
  • Stefania Kritchevsky
  • Tamara Badinelli
  • Anne B Harris
  • Jane Newman
  • Luigi Cauley
  • Jack Ferrucci
  • Guralnik
Is the tinetti performance oriented mobility assessment (poma) a feasible and valid predictor of short-term fall risk in nursing home residents with dementia?
  • Carolyn S Sterke
  • L Sawadi
  • Ed F Huisman
  • Caspar W N Van Beeck
  • Tischa J Looman