Hands–feet wireless devices: Test–retest reliability and discriminant validity of motor measures in Parkinson's disease telemonitoring

Background

Telemonitoring, a branch of telemedicine, involves the use of technological tools to remotely detect clinical data and evaluate patients. Telemonitoring of patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) should be performed using reliable and discriminant motor measures. Furthermore, the method of data collection and transmission, and the type of subjects suitable for telemonitoring must be well defined.

Objective

To analyze differences in patients with PD and healthy controls (HC) with the wearable inertial device SensHands–SensFeet (SH–SF), adopting a standardized acquisition mode, to verify if motor measures provided by SH–SF have a high discriminating capacity and high intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC).

Methods

Altogether, 64 patients with mild-to-moderate PD and 50 HC performed 14 standardized motor activities for assessing bradykinesia, postural and resting tremors, and gait parameters. SH–SF inertial devices were used to acquire movements and calculate objective motor measures of movement (total: 75). For each motor task, five or more biomechanical parameters were measured twice. The results were compared between patients with PD and HC.

Results

Fifty-eight objective motor measures significantly differed between patients with PD and HC; among these, 32 demonstrated relevant discrimination power (Cohen’s d > 0.8). The test–retest reliability was excellent in patients with PD (median ICC = 0.85 right limbs, 0.91 left limbs) and HC (median ICC = 0.78 right limbs, 0.82 left limbs).

Conclusion

In a supervised environment, the SH–SF device provides motor measures with good results in terms of reliability and discriminant ability. The reliability of SH–SF measurements should be evaluated in an unsupervised home setting in future studies.

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