Between-site equivalence of turning speed assessments using inertial measurement units

Lucy Parrington, Laurie A. King, Margaret M. Weightman, Carrie W. Hoppes, Mark E. Lester, Leland E. Dibble, Peter C. Fino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Turning is a component of gait that requires planning for movement of multiple body segments and the sophisticated integration of sensory information from the vestibular, visual, and somatosensory systems. These aspects of turning have led to growing interest to quantify turning in clinical populations to characterize deficits or identify disease progression. However, turning may be affected by environmental differences, and the degree to which turning assessments are comparable across research or clinical sites has not yet been evaluated. Research question: The aim of this study was to determine the extent to which peak turning speeds are equivalent between two sites for a variety of mobility tasks. Methods: Data were collected at two different sites using separate healthy young adult participants (n = 47 participants total), but recruited using identical inclusion and exclusion criteria. Participants at each site completed three turning tasks: a one-minute walk (1 MW) along a six-meter walkway, a modified Illinois Agility Test (mIAT), and a custom clinical turning course (CCTC). Peak yaw turning speeds were extracted from wearable inertial sensors on the head, trunk, and pelvis. Between-site differences and two one-sided tests (TOST) were used to determine equivalence between sites, based on a minimum effect size reported between individuals with mild traumatic brain injury and healthy control subjects. Results: No outcomes were different between sites, and equivalence was determined for 6/21 of the outcomes. These findings suggest that some turning tasks and outcome measures may be better suited for multi-site studies. The equivalence results are also dependent on the minimum effect size of interest; nearly all outcomes were equivalent across sites when larger minimum effect sizes of interest were used. Significance: Together, these results suggest some tasks and outcome measures may be better suited for multi-site studies and literature-based comparisons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)245-251
Number of pages7
JournalGait and Posture
StatePublished - Oct 2021


  • Gait
  • IMU
  • Multi-site study
  • Turning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Rehabilitation


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