iPod-based in-home system for monitoring gaze-stabilization exercise compliance of individuals with vestibular hypofunction.
BACKGROUND: In the physical therapy setting, physical therapists (PTs) often prescribe exercises for their clients to perform at home. However, it is difficult for PTs to obtain information about their clients' compliance with the prescribed exercises, the quality of performance and symptom magnitude. We present an iPod-based system for capturing this information from individuals with vestibular hypofunction while they perform gaze stabilization exercises at home.
METHOD: The system's accuracy for measurement of rotational velocity against an independent motion tracker was validated. Then a seven day in-home trial was conducted with 10 individuals to assess the feasibility of implementing the system. Compliance was measured by comparing the recorded frequency and duration of the exercises with the exercise prescription. The velocity and range of motion of head movements was recorded in the pitch and yaw planes. The system also recorded dizziness severity before and after each exercise was performed. Each patient was interviewed briefly after the trial to ascertain ease of use. In addition, an interview was performed with PTs in order to assess how the information would be utilized.
RESULTS: The correlation of the velocity measurements between the iPod-based system and the motion tracker was 0.99. Half of the subjects were under-compliant with the prescribed exercises. The average head velocity during performance was 140 deg/s in the yaw plane and 101 deg/s in the pitch plane.
CONCLUSIONS: The iPod-based system was able to be used in-home. Interviews with PTs suggest that the quantitative data from the system will be valuable for assisting PTs in understanding exercise performance of patients, documenting progress, making treatment decisions, and communicating patient status to other PTs.