BACKGROUND: Maintaining a healthy gait into old age is key to preserving the quality of life and reducing the risk of falling. Nonlinear dynamic analyses (NDAs) are a promising method of identifying characteristics of people who are at risk of falling based on their movement patterns. However, there is a range of NDA measures reported in the literature. The aim of this review was to summarise the variety, characteristics and range of the nonlinear dynamic measurements used to distinguish the gait kinematics of healthy older adults and older adults at risk of falling.
METHODS: Medline Ovid and Web of Science databases were searched. Forty-six papers were included for full-text review. Data extracted included participant and study design characteristics, fall risk assessment tools, analytical protocols and key results.
RESULTS: Among all nonlinear dynamic measures, Lyapunov Exponent (LyE) was most common, followed by entropy and then Fouquet Multipliers (FMs) measures. LyE and Multiscale Entropy (MSE) measures distinguished between older and younger adults and fall-prone versus non-fall-prone older adults. FMs were a less sensitive measure for studying changes in older adults' gait. Methodology and data analysis procedures for estimating nonlinear dynamic measures differed greatly between studies and are a potential source of variability in cross-study comparisons and in generating reference values.
CONCLUSION: Future studies should develop a standard procedure to apply and estimate LyE and entropy to quantify gait characteristics. This will enable the development of reference values in estimating the risk of falling.
- Biomechanical Phenomena
- Nonlinear Dynamics
- Quality of Life