Validation of the StepWatch Activity Monitor in Individuals With Vestibular Disorders

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Physiotherapy Theory and Practice


Purpose: The purpose of this study is to investigate the accuracy of the StepWatch Activity Monitor (SAM in measuring step count for individuals with vestibular disorders. Materials and Methods: Subjects were individuals with a vestibular disorder. The StepWatch Activity Monitor (SAM) was programed, placed on the patient’s right ankle, and calibrated. Subjects completed a 2 Minute Walk Test (2 MWT) wearing the SAM. All steps were counted live and by video using a tally counter (TC). Results: Twenty-Six (N = 26) subjects, 9 males and 17 females, with an average age of 61.5 ± 12.4 years (36–80) completed the study. The average number of steps counted by the TC during the 2 MWT was 219.1 ± 25.9 (168–251) compared to 217.4 ± 27.3 (153–252) counted by SAM, an average difference of 1.6 ± 4.6 steps. Regression analysis demonstrated that the mean difference in step count was not significantly different from 0 (t = −1.588, sig. = 0.125). A Bland-Altman plot was created using the 95% upper and lower confidence interval (−0.29–3.44). Conclusion: The results indicate that the SAM accurately measures step count in individuals with vestibular disorders. Researchers and vestibular therapists can use the SAM to collect step count data in individuals with vestibular disorders.

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