The potential applications of a virtual moving environment for assessing falls in elderly adults

Pamela S. Haibach, Semyon Slobounov, Karl M. Newell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate whether the moving room paradigm could be used to assess fall risk in older people. A group of young adults (18-29 years) and two groups of elderly adults (60-79 years) with and without a history of falls were placed into a simulated moving room. Participants stood still facing an oscillating three dimensional virtual room moving in the antero-posterior plane with three types of room movement conditions, continuous oscillatory, discrete anterior and discrete posterior. The young adults performed with less postural motion and coherence with the virtual motion than the older age groups. The group of elderly fallers exhibited more postural motion [center of pressure (COP) length, p < 0.05], a trend towards higher coherence with the object motion (p = 0.07), and the greatest amount of time-to-stability (p < 0.05). A virtual moving room incorporating measures of time-to-stability and egomotion appears useful in predicting risk for falls.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)303-308
Number of pages6
JournalGait and Posture
Volume27
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Rehabilitation

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