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Smoothness Metrics for Measuring Arm Movement Quality after Stroke with a Wrist Accelerometer

  • Author(s): Okita, Shusuke
  • Advisor(s): Reinkensmeyer, David D.J.R.
  • et al.
Creative Commons 'BY' version 4.0 license

Remote patient monitoring systems show promise for assisting stroke patients in home exercise programs. While these systems typically measure exercise repetitions in order to monitor compliance, a key goal of therapists is to also monitor movement quality. Here we develop a measure of movement quality – Peak Intensity – that is a measure of movement smoothness that is implementable with a wrist-worn inertial measurement unit (IMU) in the context of performing repetitions of an upper extremity exercise. To calculate Peak Intensity, we assume we have an accurate count of the number of exercise repetitions in an exercise set, then calculate Peak Intensity as the total number of movement peaks from the continuous stream of IMU data generated across the set, divided by the number of repetitions. Using wrist-worn IMU measurements from 19 participants with chronic stroke performing a sample exercise in which they picked up and moved blocks across a divider (i.e. the Box and Blocks Test) we show that Peak Intensity is moderately correlated with a widely used measure of movement quality, the Quality of Movement score of the Motor Activity Log. Peak Intensity is also strongly correlated with a measure of hand function (the BBT score itself), but is more sensitive at greater levels of impairment. Finally, we show Peak Intensity can be validly derived from either wrist acceleration or angular velocity. These results suggest Peak Intensity could serve as an indicator of movement exercise quality for therapists monitoring home rehabilitation, and, potentially, as a means to provide augmented feedback to patients about their exercise quality.

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