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Novel sensing technology in fall risk assessment in older adults: a systematic review

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BMC Geriatrics

BioMed Central

Geriatric, Older adults, Fall risk, Sensing technology

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      Abstract

      BackgroundFalls are a major health problem for older adults with significant physical and psychological consequences. A first step of successful fall prevention is to identify those at risk of falling. Recent advancement in sensing technology offers the possibility of objective, low-cost and easy-to-implement fall risk assessment. The objective of this systematic review is to assess the current state of sensing technology on providing objective fall risk assessment in older adults.MethodsA systematic review was conducted in accordance to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis statement (PRISMA).ResultsTwenty-two studies out of 855 articles were systematically identified and included in this review. Pertinent methodological features (sensing technique, assessment activities, outcome variables, and fall discrimination/prediction models) were extracted from each article. Four major sensing technologies (inertial sensors, video/depth camera, pressure sensing platform and laser sensing) were reported to provide accurate fall risk diagnostic in older adults. Steady state walking, static/dynamic balance, and functional mobility were used as the assessment activity. A diverse range of diagnostic accuracy across studies (47.9% - 100%) were reported, due to variation in measured kinematic/kinetic parameters and modelling techniques.ConclusionsA wide range of sensor technologies have been utilized in fall risk assessment in older adults. Overall, these devices have the potential to provide an accurate, inexpensive, and easy-to-implement fall risk assessment. However, the variation in measured parameters, assessment tools, sensor sites, movement tasks, and modelling techniques, precludes a firm conclusion on their ability to predict future falls. Future work is needed to determine a clinical meaningful and easy to interpret fall risk diagnosis utilizing sensing technology. Additionally, the gap between functional evaluation and user experience to technology should be addressed.

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      Most cited references 49

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      Preferred reporting items for systematic review and meta-analysis protocols (PRISMA-P) 2015 statement

      Systematic reviews should build on a protocol that describes the rationale, hypothesis, and planned methods of the review; few reviews report whether a protocol exists. Detailed, well-described protocols can facilitate the understanding and appraisal of the review methods, as well as the detection of modifications to methods and selective reporting in completed reviews. We describe the development of a reporting guideline, the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses for Protocols 2015 (PRISMA-P 2015). PRISMA-P consists of a 17-item checklist intended to facilitate the preparation and reporting of a robust protocol for the systematic review. Funders and those commissioning reviews might consider mandating the use of the checklist to facilitate the submission of relevant protocol information in funding applications. Similarly, peer reviewers and editors can use the guidance to gauge the completeness and transparency of a systematic review protocol submitted for publication in a journal or other medium.
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        The Timed “Up & Go”: A Test of Basic Functional Mobility for Frail Elderly Persons

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          Falls in older people: epidemiology, risk factors and strategies for prevention.

          Falls are a common and often devastating problem among older people, causing a tremendous amount of morbidity, mortality and use of health care services including premature nursing home admissions. Most of these falls are associated with one or more identifiable risk factors (e.g. weakness, unsteady gait, confusion and certain medications), and research has shown that attention to these risk factors can significantly reduce rates of falling. Considerable evidence now documents that the most effective (and cost-effective) fall reduction programmes have involved systematic fall risk assessment and targeted interventions, exercise programmes and environmental-inspection and hazard-reduction programmes. These findings have been substantiated by careful meta-analysis of large numbers of controlled clinical trials and by consensus panels of experts who have developed evidence-based practice guidelines for fall prevention and management. Medical assessment of fall risks and provision of appropriate interventions are challenging because of the complex nature of falls. Optimal approaches involve interdisciplinary collaboration in assessment and interventions, particularly exercise, attention to co-existing medical conditions and environmental inspection and hazard abatement.
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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            ISNI 0000 0004 1936 9991, GRID grid.35403.31, Department of Kinesiology and Community Health, , University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, ; 301 Freer Hall, 906 S Goodwin Ave, Urbana, 61801 USA
            Contributors
            ORCID: http://orcid.org/0000-0003-0738-3721, rusun@illinois.edu
            jsosnoff@illinois.edu
            Journal
            BMC Geriatr
            BMC Geriatr
            BMC Geriatrics
            BioMed Central (London )
            1471-2318
            16 January 2018
            16 January 2018
            2018
            : 18
            29338695
            5771008
            706
            10.1186/s12877-018-0706-6
            © The Author(s). 2018

            Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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            Research Article
            Custom metadata
            © The Author(s) 2018

            Geriatric medicine

            geriatric, sensing technology, fall risk, older adults

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