Smartphone-based gait and balance assessment in survivors of stroke: a systematic review

Joseph Peters, Libak Abou, Ellyce Wong, Mauricette Sènan Dossou, Jacob J. Sosnoff, Laura A. Rice

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Purpose: Gait and balance impairments are associated with falls and reduced quality of life among survivors of stroke (SS). Effective methods to assess these impairments at-home and in-clinic can help reduce fall risks and improve functional outcomes. Smartphone technology may be able to evaluate these impairments. This review aims to summarize the validity, reliability, sensitivity, and specificity of smartphone applications for determining gait and balance disorders in SS. Method: Database search through PubMed, Web of Science, Scopus, CINAHL, and SportDiscuss was conducted to retrieve studies that explored the use of smartphone-based applications for assessing gait and balance disorders in SS. Two independent reviewers screened potential articles to determine eligibility for inclusion. Eligible studies were summarized for participant and study characteristics, validity, reliability, sensitivity, and specificity of smartphone assessments. Methodological quality assessment of studies was performed using the NIH Quality Assessment Tool. Results: Seven cross-sectional studies were included in the review. Quality assessment revealed all studies had low risk of bias. Three of the included studies examined the validity, four examined the reliability, and two examined the specificity and sensitivity of smartphone-based application assessments of gait and balance in SS. Studies revealed that smartphones were valid, reliable, specific, and sensitive. Six of the seven included studies intended their use for SS and one study for clinicians. Conclusion: Preliminary evidence supports that smartphone-based gait and balance assessments are valid, reliable, sensitive, and specific in SS in laboratory settings. Future research is needed to test smartphone-based gait and balance assessments in home settings and determine optimal wear sites for assessments.IMPLICATIONS FOR REHABILITATION Smartphone-based gait and balance assessments are feasible, valid and reliable for survivors of stroke The findings may guide future research to standardize the use of smartphone to assess gait and balance in this population. The remote use of smartphone-based assessments to predict fall risk in survivors of stroke needs to be explored.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)177-187
Number of pages11
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology
Issue number1
Early online dateMay 18 2022
StatePublished - 2024


  • stroke amplification
  • fall prevention
  • balance
  • gait
  • remote assessment
  • mobile device
  • smartphone application
  • Stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Speech and Hearing
  • Rehabilitation
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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