The intra-rater reliability and agreement of compensatory stepping thresholds of healthy subjects

Jeremy R. Crenshaw, Kenton R. Kaufman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the test-retest, intra-rater reliability and agreement of compensatory stepping thresholds. A protocol was developed to establish anteroposterior single-stepping thresholds, anteroposterior multiple-stepping thresholds, and lateral single-stepping thresholds. Healthy, young subjects stood on a microprocessor-controlled treadmill, and responded to three series of progressively challenging surface translations. Subjects were instructed to "try not to step" when establishing single-stepping thresholds or "try to take only one step" when establishing multiple-stepping thresholds. Stepping thresholds were defined as the minimum disturbance magnitude that consistently elicited a single or second compensatory step. Thresholds were expressed as the ankle torque necessary to maintain upright posture. Thresholds studied included anterior single-stepping thresholds (τ=273.0. ±. 82.3. N. m), posterior single-stepping, thresholds (τ=235.5. ±. 98.0. N. m), anterior multiple-stepping thresholds (τ=977.0. ±. 416.3. N. m), posterior multiple-stepping thresholds (τ=701.9. ±. 237.5. N. m), stability-side lateral single-stepping thresholds (τ=225.7. ±. 77.7. N. m), and mobility-side lateral single-stepping thresholds (τ=236.8. ±. 85.4. N. m). Based on intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) and Bland-Altman plots, all thresholds demonstrated excellent reliability (ICC(2,1)=0.87-0.97) and agreement. These results suggest that compensatory stepping thresholds have sufficient repeatability to be used in clinical and research-related assessments of fall-risk. Additional study is needed to determine the intra- and inter-rater reliabilities and validity of thresholds specific to the patient populations of interest.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)810-815
Number of pages6
JournalGait and Posture
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2014


  • Balance
  • Clinical assessments
  • Falls
  • Older adults
  • Stability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Rehabilitation


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