Interpersonal interactions for haptic guidance during balance exercises

Steinl, Saskia M., Sparto, Patrick J., Atkeson, Christopher G., Redfern, Mark S. and Johannsen, Leif (2018) Interpersonal interactions for haptic guidance during balance exercises. Gait & Posture, 65. pp. 129-136. ISSN 0966-6362

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Background: Caregiver–patient interaction relies on interpersonal coordination during support provided by a therapist to a patient with impaired control of body balance. Research question: The purpose of this study was to investigate in a therapeutic context active and passive participant involvement during interpersonal support in balancing tasks of increasing sensorimotor difficulty. Methods: Ten older adults stood in semi-tandem stance and received support from a physical therapist (PT) in two support conditions: 1) physical support provided by the PT to the participant’s back via an instrumented handle affixed to a harness worn by the participant (“passive” interpersonal touch; IPT) or 2) support by PT and participant jointly holding a handle instrumented with a force-torque transducer while facing each other (“active” IPT). The postural stability of both support conditions was measured using the root-mean-square (RMS) of the Centre-of-Pressure velocity (RMS dCOP) in the antero-posterior (AP) and medio-lateral (ML) directions. Interpersonal postural coordination (IPC) was characterized in terms of cross-correlations between both individuals’ sway fluctuations as well as the measured interaction forces. Results: Active involvement of the participant decreased the participant’s postural variability to a greater extent, especially under challenging stance conditions, than receiving support passively. In the passive support condition, however, stronger in-phase IPC between both partners was observed in the antero-posterior direction, possibly caused by a more critical (visual or tactile) observation of participants’ body sway dynamics by the therapist. In-phase cross-correlation time lags indicated that the therapist tended to respond to participants’ body sway fluctuations in a reactive follower mode, which could indicate visual dominance affecting the therapist during the provision of haptic support. Significance: Our paradigm implies that in balance rehabilitation more partnership-based methods promote greater postural steadiness. The implications of this finding with regard to motor learning and rehabilitation need to be investigated.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: interpersonal coordination,balance rehabilitation,social postural coordination,haptic support
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Health Sciences
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 20 Jul 2018 15:33
Last Modified: 24 May 2022 12:57
DOI: 10.1016/j.gaitpost.2018.07.163

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