Assessments of trunk postural control within a fall-prevention training program for service members with lower limb trauma and loss

Julian C. Acasio, Noel A. Guerrero, Riley C. Sheehan, Courtney M. Butowicz, Meghan L. Tullos, Caitlin E. Mahon, Julianne M. Stewart, Claire Z. Zai, Trevor D. Kingsbury, Mark D. Grabiner, Christopher L. Dearth, Kenton R. Kaufman, Brad D. Hendershot

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Trunk postural control (TPC) is critical in maintaining balance following perturbations (i.e., avoiding falls), and impaired among persons with lower extremity trauma, contributing to elevated fall risk. Previously, a fall-prevention program improved TPC in individuals with unilateral transtibial amputation following trip-inducing perturbations. However, it is presently unclear if these improvements are task specific. Research question: Do improvements to TPC gained from a fall-prevention program translate to another task which assesses TPC in isolation (i.e., unstable sitting)? Secondarily, can isolated TPC be used to identify who would benefit most from the fall-prevention program? Methods: Twenty-five individuals (21 male/4 female) with lower extremity trauma, who participated in a larger fall-prevention program, were included in this analysis. Trunk flexion and flexion velocity quantified TPC following perturbation; accelerometer-based sway parameters quantified TPC during unstable sitting. A generalized linear mixed-effects model assessed training-induced differences in TPC after perturbation; a generalized linear model assessed differences in sway parameters following training. Spearman's rho related training-induced changes to TPC following perturbation (i.e., the difference in TPC measures at pre- and post-training assessments) with pre- vs. post-training changes to sway parameters during unstable sitting (i.e., the difference in sway parameters at pre- and post-training assessments) as well as pre-training sway parameters with the pre- vs. post-training differences in TPC following perturbation. Results: Following training, trunk flexion angles decreased, indicating improved TPC; however, sway parameters did not differ pre- and post-training. In addition, pre- vs. post-training differences in TPC following perturbation were neither strongly nor significantly correlated with sway parameters. Moreover, pre-training sway parameters did not correlate with pre- vs. post-training differences in trunk flexion/flexion velocity. Significance: Overall, these results indicate that improvements to TPC gained from fall-prevention training are task-specific and do not translate to other activities. Moreover, isolated TPC measures are not able to identify individuals that benefit most from the fall-prevention program.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalGait and Posture
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • Extremity trauma
  • Fall prevention
  • Trunk postural control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Rehabilitation

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