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The reproducibility of acquiring three dimensional gait and plantar pressure data using established protocols in participants with and without type 2 diabetes and foot ulcers

Citation
Fernando M, Crowther R, Cunningham M, Lazzarini P, Sangla K, Buttner P & Golledge J (2016) The reproducibility of acquiring three dimensional gait and plantar pressure data using established protocols in participants with and without type 2 diabetes and foot ulcers, Journal of Foot and Ankle Research, 9, Art. No.: 4.

Abstract
Background 

Several prospective studies have suggested that gait and plantar pressure abnormalities secondary to diabetic peripheral neuropathy contributes to foot ulceration. There are many different methods by which gait and plantar pressures are assessed and currently there is no agreed standardised approach. This study aimed to describe the methods and reproducibility of three-dimensional gait and plantar pressure assessments in a small subset of participants using pre-existing protocols. 
Methods 
Fourteen participants were conveniently sampled prior to a planned longitudinal study; four patients with diabetes and plantar foot ulcers, five patients with diabetes but no foot ulcers and five healthy controls. The repeatability of measuring key biomechanical data was assessed including the identification of 16 key anatomical landmarks, the measurement of seven leg dimensions, the processing of 22 three-dimensional gait parameters and the analysis of four different plantar pressures measures at 20 foot regions. 
Results 
The mean inter-observer differences were within the pre-defined acceptable level (<7mm) for 100% (16 of 16) of key anatomical landmarks measured for gait analysis. The intra-observer assessment concordance correlation coefficients were > 0.9 for 100% (7 of 7) of leg dimensions. The coefficients of variations (CVs) were within the pre-defined acceptable level (<10%) for 100% (22 of 22) of gait parameters. The CVs were within the pre-defined acceptable level (<30%) for 95% (19 of 20) of the contact area measures, 85% (17 of 20) of mean plantar pressures, 70% (14 of 20) of pressure time integrals and 55% (11 of 20) of maximum sensor plantar pressure measures. 
Conclusion 
Overall, the findings of this study suggest that important gait and plantar pressure measurements can be reliably acquired. Nearly all measures contributing to three-dimensional gait parameter assessments were within predefined acceptable limits. Most plantar pressure measurements were also within predefined acceptable limits; however, reproducibility was not as good for assessment of the maximum sensor pressure. To our knowledge, this is the first study to investigate the reproducibility of several biomechanical methods in a heterogeneous cohort.

Keywords
Diabetic foot; Reproducibility of results; Gait; Locomotion; Plantar pressure; Foot ulcer

StatusPublished
AuthorsFernando Malindu, Crowther Robert, Cunningham Margaret, Lazzarini Peter, Sangla Kunwarjit, Buttner Petra, Golledge Jonathan
Publication date29/01/2016
Publication date online29/01/2016
Date accepted by journal16/01/2016
PublisherBioMed Central
ISSN 1757-1146
LanguageEnglish

Journal
Journal of Foot and Ankle Research: Volume 9

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