Ambulatory measurement of upper limb usage and mobility-related activities during normal daily life with an upper limb-activity monitor: A feasibility study
The aim of this research was to assess the ability of an upper limb-activity monitor (ULAM) to discriminate between upper limb usage and non-usage in healthy and disabled subjects during normal daily life. The ULAM was based on ambulatory accelerometry and consisted of several acceleration sensors connected to a small recorder worn around the waist. While wearing this ULAM, four healthy and four disabled subjects performed an activity protocol representing normal daily life upper limb usage or non-usage. The motility feature (derived from the raw acceleration signals) was used as a measure of the extent of upper limb usage. Agreement scores between ULAM output and videotape recordings (reference method) were calculated. ULAM data that were of special interest for rehabilitation were detected satisfactorily (overall agreement 83.9%). There were no systematic differences in the agreement percentages between healthy and disabled subjects for mobility-related activities (p=0.345) and the different forms of upper limb usage or non-usage (p=0.715). The ULAM can be used in future studies in subjects with upper limb disorders to discriminate between upper limb usage and non-usage during performance of mobility-related activities to determine activity limitations.
KeywordsAccelerometry Upper limb usage Mobility-related activities
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