Complementing Clinical Gait Assessments of Spinal Cord Injured Individuals using Wearable Movement Sensors
Werner Charlotte, Sophie Schneider, Roger Gassert, Armin Curt, Laszlo Demko
Today's standard clinical practice to assess the walking ability of patients with neurological disorders during rehabilitation is based on simple gait tests such as the six-minute walking test (6MWT). Since the outcome of these tests is the average walking speed only, the aim of this work was to show that the application of movement sensors during a standardized walking test for the population of spinal cord injured (SCI) patients provides additional information on gait quality not directly described by the average speed. Hence, gait features that are related to quantitative and qualitative aspects of gait were extracted from the ankle sensor recordings of 29 SCI subjects and 19 healthy controls performing the 6MWT. The subjects were clustered into groups based on these gait features, and six gait features were selected to demonstrate the key differences between the clusters. The correlation of these features to the outcome of the 6MWT is discussed with their implications on gait quality.