Research Study

Kinematic Validation of Postural Sway Measured by Biodex Biosway (Force Plate) and SWAY Balance (Accelerometer) Technology

Dewan, B. M., Roger James, C., Kumar, N. A., & Sawyer, S. F.
Background. The Biodex Biosway® Balance System and SWAY Balance® Mobile smartphone application (SBMA) are portable instruments that assess balance function with force plate and accelerometer technology, respectively. The validity of these indirect clinical measures of postural sway merits investigation. Purpose. The purpose of this study was to investigate the concurrent validity of standing postural sway measurements by using the portable Biosway and SBMA systems with kinematic measurements of the whole body Center of Mass (COM) derived from a gold-standard reference, a motion capture system. Study Design. Cross-sectional; repeated measures. Methods. Forty healthy young adults (21 female, 19 male) participated in this study. Participants performed 10 standing balance tasks that included combinations of standing on one or two legs, with eyes open or closed, on a firm surface or foam surface and voluntary rhythmic sway. Postural sway was measured simultaneously from SBMA, Biosway, and the motion capture system. The linear relationships between the measurements were analyzed. Results. Significant correlations were found between Biosway and COM velocity for both progressively challenging single and double leg stances (τb = 0.3 to 0.5, to <0.0001). SBMA scores and COM velocity were significantly correlated only for single leg stances (τb = −0.5 to −0.6, ). SBMA scores had near-maximal values with zero to near-zero variance in double leg stances, indicating a ceiling effect. Conclusion. The force plate-based Biodex Biosway is valid for assessing standing postural sway for a wide range of test conditions and challenges to standing balance, whereas an accelerometer-based SWAY Balance smartphone application is valid for assessing postural sway in progressively challenging single leg stance but is not sensitive enough to detect lower-magnitude postural sway changes in progressively challenging double leg stances.
Read More