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Reliability and Repeatability of the Footwork Plantar Pressure Plate System

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Background

Plantar pressure plate instruments are commonly used in clinical practice and biomechanical analysis and are useful to establish a relationship between gait disorders and foot pressure. The aim of this study was to verify the reliability and repeatability of the Footwork pressure plate system for static and dynamic conditions.

Methods

Forty healthy adults, without apparent gait pathology, were recruited. For the static condition, participants were asked to stand static on the Footwork pressure plate for 5 sec in natural position (arms on either side of the body, feet shoulder-width apart in a comfortable angle, and looking ahead). For the dynamic condition, subjects were told to step five times with each foot on the plate following the three-step protocol. Both conditions were performed in two testing sessions spaced by 1 week.

Results

Intrasession and intersession reliability for both conditions showed substantial to almost perfect intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) values, and low coefficient of variation, low standard error measure, and low percentage error. Intrasession ICCs were 0.724 to 0.993 for static condition evaluation and 0.639 to 0.986 for dynamic condition evaluation. Intersession reliability ICCs ranged from 0.850 to 0.987 for the static condition and from 0.781 to 0.996 for the dynamic condition. Coefficient of variation values were below 8% in both cases and percentage error calculated from standard error measure were less than 10%.

Conclusions

The present work demonstrates that the Footwork plantar pressure plate system is a reliable instrument for collecting plantar pressures in static and dynamic conditions. Reliability data were higher for the static trials, probably because of the individual physiologic fluctuations, which are larger during dynamic gait. Reliability for intersession and average intrasession trials were higher than single-test reliability. The results from the present work can be used as a starting point for future research and to establish a basis for sample sizes for investigations that would use the Footwork platform.

Department of Podiatry, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manresa, Manresa, Spain.

Department of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Health and Sports Sciences, University of San Jorge, Villanueva de Gállego, Spain.

R & D Department, Biomechanical Unit, Podoactiva Headquarters, Walqa Technological Park, Huesca, Spain.

Medical Tech Center, Sanitas–Real Madrid, Biomechanical Analysis Laboratory, Madrid, Spain.

Corresponding author: Antonio Gómez Bernal, PhD, Department of Podiatry, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manresa, Manresa, Spain. (E-mail: agomez@umanresa.cat)