A systematic review of balance and fall risk assessments with mobile phone technology

Kathleen L. Roeing, Katherine L. Hsieh, Jacob J. Sosnoff

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Falls are a major health concern for older adults. Preventative measures can help reduce the incidence and severity of falls. Methods for assessing balance and fall risk factors are necessary to effectively implement preventative measures. Research groups are currently developing mobile applications to enable seniors, caregivers, and clinicians to monitor balance and fall risk. The following systematic review assesses the current state of mobile health apps for testing balance as a fall risk factor. Thirteen studies were identified and included in the review and analyzed based on study design, population, sample size, measures of balance, main outcome measures, and evaluation of validity and reliability. All studies successfully tested their applications, but only 38% evaluated the validity, and 23% evaluated the reliability of their applications. Of those, all applications were found to accurately and reliably measure balance on select variables. Four of the 13 studies included special populations groups. Out of the 13 studies, 12 reported clinicians as their intended user and seven reported seniors as their intended user. Further research should examine the validity of mobile health applications as well as report on the application's usability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)222-226
Number of pages5
JournalArchives of Gerontology and Geriatrics
Volume73
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2017

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Keywords

  • Aging
  • Balance
  • Fall risk
  • Older adults
  • Smartphone
  • Systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Aging
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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