Impact of anatomical placement of an accelerometer on prediction of physical activity energy expenditure in lower-limb amputees

<div><p>Purpose</p><p>To assess the influence of the anatomical placement of a tri-axial accelerometer on the prediction of physical activity energy expenditure (PAEE) in traumatic lower-limb amputees during walking and to develop valid population-specific prediction algorithms.</p><p>Methods</p><p>Thirty participants, consisting of unilateral (n = 10), and bilateral (n = 10) amputees, and non-injured controls (n = 10) volunteered to complete eight activities; resting in a supine position, walking on a flat (0.48, 0.67, 0.89, 1.12, 1.34 m.s<sup>-1</sup>) and an inclined (3 and 5% gradient at 0.89 m.s<sup>-1</sup>) treadmill. During each task, expired gases were collected and an Actigraph GT3X+ accelerometer was worn on the right hip, left hip and lumbar spine. Linear regression analyses were conducted between outputs from each accelerometer site and criterion PAEE (indirect calorimetry). Mean bias ± 95% limits of agreement were calculated. Additional covariates were incorporated to assess whether they improved the prediction accuracy of regression models. Subsequent mean absolute error statistics were calculated for the derived models at all sites using a leave-one out cross-validation analysis.</p><p>Results</p><p>Predicted PAEE at each anatomical location was significantly (<i>P</i>< 0.01) correlated with criterion PAEE (P<0.01). Wearing the GT3X+ on the shortest residual limb demonstrates the strongest correlation (unilateral; <i>r</i> = 0.86, bilateral; <i>r</i> = 0.94), smallest ±95% limits of agreement (unilateral; ±2.15, bilateral ±1.99 kcal·min<sup>-1</sup>) and least absolute percentage error (unilateral; 22±17%, bilateral 17±14%) to criterion PAEE.</p><p>Conclusions</p><p>We have developed accurate PAEE population specific prediction models in lower-limb amputees using an ActiGraph GT3X+ accelerometer. Of the 3 anatomical locations considered, wearing the accelerometer on the side of the shortest residual limb provides the most accurate prediction of PAEE with the least error in unilateral and bilateral traumatic lower-limb amputees.</p></div>