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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 637671, 8 pages
Research Article

Reliability in the Parameterization of the Functional Reach Test in Elderly Stroke Patients: A Pilot Study

1Departamento de Psiquiatría y Fisioterapia, Instituto de Investigación Biomédica de Málaga (IBIMA), Universidad de Málaga, 29071 Málaga, Spain
2School of Clinical Sciences, The Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, QLD 4059, Australia

Received 19 February 2014; Revised 1 April 2014; Accepted 7 April 2014; Published 29 April 2014

Academic Editor: Stefano Carda

Copyright © 2014 Jose Antonio Merchán-Baeza et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Postural instability is one of the major complications found in stroke survivors. Parameterising the functional reach test (FRT) could be useful in clinical practice and basic research. Objectives. To analyse the reliability, sensitivity, and specificity in the FRT parameterisation using inertial sensors for recording kinematic variables in patients who have suffered a stroke. Design. Cross-sectional study. While performing FRT, two inertial sensors were placed on the patient’s back (lumbar and trunk). Participants. Five subjects over 65 who suffer from a stroke. Measurements. FRT measures, lumbosacral/thoracic maximum angular displacement, maximum time of lumbosacral/thoracic angular displacement, time return initial position, and total time. Speed and acceleration of the movements were calculated indirectly. Results. FRT measure is    cm. Intrasubject reliability values range from 0.829 (time to return initial position (lumbar sensor)) to 0.891 (lumbosacral maximum angular displacement). Intersubject reliability values range from 0.821 (time to return initial position (lumbar sensor)) to 0.883 (lumbosacral maximum angular displacement). FRT’s reliability was 0.987 (0.983–0.992) and 0.983 (0.979–0.989) intersubject and intrasubject, respectively. Conclusion. The main conclusion could be that the inertial sensors are a tool with excellent reliability and validity in the parameterization of the FRT in people who have had a stroke.