Objectives: Instrumented assessment of gait and balance in relation to frailty is not well described. Our aim was to investigate differences in instrumented gait and balance parameters between robust and pre-frail community-dwelling older adults aged 80 and over. Method: Eighty-five participants (mean age 82,96 ± 2,79) walk 2 times 20 meters at habitual speed while wearing a 3D accelerometer. Walking data were based on the average of the two walks, where a step indicates the left or right step (time) and stride indicates the sum of left and right steps. Symmetry is calculated between left and right steps, regularity indicates the uniformity of the acceleration pattern. Balance assessment was performed by standing still in various positions on a Wii-Balance Board. Differences between robust and pre-frail participants (based on Fried's 5-component frailty model) were analysed using Mann-Whitney U and Independent samples T-tests. Correlations between gait- and balance parameters were computed and corrected for sex and height. Results: Robust and pre-frail subjects showed significant differences in step symmetry (p<0,05) and step regularity (p<0,05). Regarding balance, significant differences were found in single leg stance (p<0,05) and standing on both feet with eyes open (p<0,05). Significant correlations were found between single leg stance and both step symmetry (r =-0,336) and step regularity (r =-0,320). Conclusion: Robust older adults walk more symmetrical and more regular than their prefrail counterparts. In addition, a better balance is observed while standing on one leg. However, pre-frail older adults have a better balance while standing on both feet with their eyes open. Balance while standing on one leg correlates with step symmetry and step regularity. Further research is needed to analyse the predictive values of these parameters in the identification of changes in frailty status.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 17 Feb 2017
EventBVGG-SBGG 40ste Wintermeeting - Kursaal, Ostend, Belgium
Duration: 17 Feb 201718 Feb 2017


ConferenceBVGG-SBGG 40ste Wintermeeting


  • frailty
  • balance
  • gait


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