Validation of a novel activity monitor in impaired, slow-walking, crutch-supported patients

Simon N. van Laarhoven*, Matthijs Lipperts, Stijn A.A.N. Bolink, Rachel Senden, Ide C. Heyligers, Bernd Grimm

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Background A growing need in clinical practice of rehabilitation and orthopaedic medicine is for objective outcome tools to estimate physical activity. Current techniques show limited validity or are too demanding for routine clinical use. Accelerometer-based activity monitors (AMs) have shown promise for measuring physical activity in healthy people but lack validity in impaired patients. Objectives This study aimed to validate an accelerometer-based AM in impaired, slow-walking, crutch-supported patients after total joint arthroplasty (TJA). Methods Shortly after TJA, patients who were safely mobilized with 2 crutches and 8 healthy participants completed a trial of different activities while wearing the AM on the lateral upper leg and being videotaped. Outcome variables (e.g., time walking, number of gait cycles, sit-stand-sit transfers) were compared to video recordings, and sensitivity, predictive value and mean percentage difference (MPD) values were calculated. Results We included 40 patients (mean age: 65 ± 9 years; mean BMI: 30 ± 6 kg/m2; male:female ratio: 18:22) and 8 healthy participants (mean age: 49 ± 20 years; mean BMI: 23 ± 0.7 kg/m2; male:female ratio: 5:3). The AM showed excellent sensitivity (> 95%) and predictive value (> 95%) in identifying activities (e.g., walking, sitting, resting) and detecting the number of gait cycles and sit-stand-sit transfers (mean percentage difference: ±2%). Detection of number of steps ascending and descending stairs and cadence was more difficult but still showed good results (mean percentage difference: ±7%). Conclusions This is the first validation study to assess physical activity with an AM in impaired, slow-walking, crutch-supported patients. The AM was a valid tool for measuring physical activity in these patients. The tool may help in evaluating and optimizing rehabilitation programs for patients after TJA, those recovering from stroke or chronic impaired patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)308-313
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine
Issue number5-6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Activity monitor
  • Arthroplasty
  • Outcome assessment
  • Physical activity
  • Rehabilitation


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