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Rapid stepping test towards virtual visual objects: Feasibility and convergent validity in older adults



Rapid voluntary stepping has been recognized as an important measure of balance control.


The purpose of this study was to assess the feasibility and convergent validity of a Rapid Stepping Test protocol utilizing a virtual reality SeeMeTM system (VR-RST) in elderly ambulatory and independent individuals living in a community residential home.


Associations between step execution times determined by the system and the Activities-specific Balance Confidence (ABC) Questionnaire, and clinical measures of balance performance in the MiniBESTest and Timed Up and Go (TUG) test, were established in 60 participants (mean age 88.2 ± 5.0 years). All participants completed the study.


The correlations of the ABC questionnaire and the clinical tests with VR-RST forward and backward stepping were moderate (ρ rage 0.42-0.52), and weak to moderate with sideward stepping (ρ rage 0.32-0.52). Moderate to strong correlations were found across stepping directions (ρ rage 0.45-0.87).


Findings support the test's feasibility and validity and confirm the utility of the VR-RST as an assessment tool in an elderly population.



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