Development of a new assessment tool for cervical myelopathy using hand-tracking sensor: Part 1: validity and reliability

M.A. Alagha, M.A. Alagha, E. Dunstan, O. Sperwer, K.A. Timmins, B.M. Boszczyk* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


To assess the reliability and validity of a hand motion sensor, Leap Motion Controller (LMC), in the 15-s hand grip-and-release test, as compared against human inspection of an external digital camera recording.
Fifty healthy participants were asked to fully grip-and-release their dominant hand as rapidly as possible for two trials with a 10-min rest in-between, while wearing a non-metal wrist splint. Each test lasted for 15 s, and a digital camera was used to film the anterolateral side of the hand on the first test. Three assessors counted the frequency of grip-and-release (G-R) cycles independently and in a blinded fashion. The average mean of the three was compared with that measured by LMC using the Bland–Altman method. Test–retest reliability was examined by comparing the two 15-s tests.
The mean number of G-R cycles recorded was: 47.8 ± 6.4 (test 1, video observer); 47.7 ± 6.5 (test 1, LMC); and 50.2 ± 6.5 (test 2, LMC). Bland–Altman indicated good agreement, with a low bias (0.15 cycles) and narrow limits of agreement. The ICC showed high inter-rater agreement and the coefficient of repeatability for the number of cycles was ±5.393, with a mean bias of 3.63.
LMC appears to be valid and reliable in the 15-s grip-and-release test. This serves as a first step towards the development of an objective myelopathy assessment device and platform for the assessment of neuromotor hand function in general. Further assessment in a clinical setting and to gauge healthy benchmark values is warranted.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1291-1297
JournalEuropean Spine Journal
Early online date19 Jan 2017
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2017

Bibliographical note

The study was funded by Nottingham University Hospitals (Spine Research). Bbraun and VRmed supported the design of the software. The companies had no role in the design, interpretation or reporting of the study.


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