[Purpose] The purpose of this study was to evaluate the validity of estimating step time and length asymmetries, using an accelerometer against force plate measurements in individuals with hemiparetic stroke.
[Subjects and Methods] Twenty-four individuals who previously had experienced a stroke were asked to walk without using a cane or manual assistance on a 16-m walkway. Step time and length were measured using force plates, which is the gold standard for assessing gait asymmetry. In addition to ground reaction forces, trunk acceleration was simultaneously measured using an accelerometer. To estimate step time asymmetry using accelerometer data, the time intervals between forward acceleration peaks for each leg were calculated. To estimate step length asymmetry using accelerometer data, the integration of the positive vertical accelerations following initial contact of each leg was calculated. Asymmetry was considered the affected side value divided by the unaffected side value.
[Results] Significant correlations were found between the accelerometer and the force plates for step time and length asymmetries (rho=0.83 and rho=0.64, respectively).
[Conclusion] An accelerometer might be useful for assessing step time and length asymmetries in individuals with hemiparetic stroke, although improvements are needed for estimating the accuracy of step length asymmetry.