An Auditory Feedback System in Use with People Aged +50 Years: Compliance and Modifications in Gait Pattern
Aging leads to gait impairments, which increases the risk for falls. In this study the impact of the auditory feedback system SONIGait on gait parameters in elderly persons was investigated. Twenty-one participants walked at self-selected speed with four variations of real-time auditory feedback of their plantar pressure. Repeated measures ANOVA was utilized to determine changes in time-distance parameters between walking without feedback and four feedback variations. After walking, they completed a questionnaire about their appraisal of the SONIGait system and the four different feedback modalities. There was a significant reduction in gait velocity (0.142 ± 0.04 m/s; p < 0.001) and prolongation of step time (0.02 ± 0.005 s; p < 0.001) during walking with SONIGait. No significant preference for any of the feedback variations was observed. Most participants evaluated the system SONIGait positively. Thus, real-time auditory feedback may be used in gait rehabilitation and may support an older person’s gait stability.
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