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Could in-home sensors surpass human observation of people with Parkinson’s at high risk of falling? An ethnographic study

Stack, E., King, R., Janko, B., Burnett, M., Hammersley, N., Agarwal, V., Hannuna, S., Burrows, A. and Ashburn, A. (2016) Could in-home sensors surpass human observation of people with Parkinson’s at high risk of falling? An ethnographic study. BioMed research international, 2016. 3703745. ISSN 2314-6133

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1155/2016/3703745

Abstract/Summary

Self-report underpins our understanding of falls among people with Parkinson’s (PwP) as they largely happen unwitnessed at home. In this qualitative study, we used an ethnographic approach to investigate which in-home sensors, in which locations, could gather useful data about fall risk. Over six weeks, we observed five independently mobile PwP at high risk of falling, at home. We made field notes about falls (prior events and concerns) and recorded movement with video, Kinect, and wearable sensors. The three women and two men (aged 71 to 79 years) having moderate or severe Parkinson’s were dependent on others and highly sedentary. We most commonly noted balance protection, loss, and restoration during chair transfers, walks across open spaces and through gaps, turns, steps up and down, and tasks in standing (all evident walking between chair and stairs, e.g.). Our unobtrusive sensors were acceptable to participants: they could detect instability during everyday activity at home and potentially guide intervention. Monitoring the route between chair and stairs is likely to give information without invading the privacy of people at high risk of falling, with very limited mobility, who spend most of the day in their sitting rooms.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Biological Sciences > Department of Bio-Engineering
ID Code:61843
Publisher:Hindawi

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