The Laboratory of kinesiology Willy Taillard, University of Geneva, the Paediatric Neurology and Neurorehabilitation Unit of the Lausanne University Hospital (CHUV) and the Laboratory of Movement Analysis an Measurement of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) assessed the spatio-temporal gait parameters of children with cerebral palsy using different sensor location.

The aim of this study was to compare the errors of spatio-temporal parameters computation using three wearable systems defined by different sensor positioning on lower limbs for children with CP and typically developing controls (TD):

11 children and adolescents with CP and 11 age- and sex-matched TD controls walked on a 10-meter walkway at their self-selected speed while wearing 6 synchronized inertial sensors (Physilog®4, Gait Up) on both thighs, shanks and feet. The 3 estimation methods were tested according to the sensor location:

  1. the feet (‘Feet’)
  2. the shanks (‘Sh’)
  3. the shanks and the thighs (‘ShTh’ )

The gait events (foot strike and foot off) as well as the stride time, stride lenth and walking speed were computed for each gait cycle and compared
with a reference system using forceplates (Kistler) and manual detection of events.

The results showed that for the whole study population the three methods were comparable for STP estimation; with ‘ShTh’ and ‘Sh’ being slightly more robust for the temporal parameter estimation and ‘Feet’ slightly better for the spatial parameter computation. However, ‘Sh’ and ‘ShTh’ were more robust to detect gait events in challenging gait patterns (less non-detected cycle compared to ‘Feet’) and ‘ShTh’ was found more accurate for the patients with a higher level of disability (GMFCS II-III).

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Reference: Carcreff, L., Ionescu, A., Gerber, C., De Coulon, G., Aminian, K., Newman, C. and Armand, S. “Assessment of the spatiotemporal gait parameters of children with cerebral palsy in daily-life settings: comparison between wearable systems using different sensor location.” Gait & Posture (2017).